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Characters / Persona 5 Strikers

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This is the character sheet for Persona 5 Strikers. See the links below for the Phantom Thieves and other returning characters. For a full index of characters from the Persona series, go here. Just like the main page, spoilers for the original Persona 5 are left unmarked. You Have Been Warned.

(Spoilers for Royal will be marked for now, however.)

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Persona Users

    Sophia / "Sophie" 

Sophia / "Sophie"

Arcana: Hopenote 

Persona: Pithos, Pandoranote 

Weapons: Yo-yos and blasters

Voiced by: Misaki Kuno (Japanese), Megan Taylor Harvey (English)
Click here to see Sophie 
Click here to see Pithos 
Click here to see Pandora 

Pandora: "Can you wield that strength? Dare you unleash catastrophe upon this world? Can you cling to the paltry hope that remains? Is the puppet ready to cut her own strings? Shall the doll seize her own destiny? Then you need only call my name. I am thou, thou art I. My name is..."
Sophia: "PANDORA!!!"

A strange girl that Joker encounters while the Phantom Thieves pursue the ongoing incidents across Japan. Her original form is a massive box, but took this form per Joker's wishes. She joins the Phantom Thieves to investigate the Shadow invasions around Japan as an honorary member.

At first, she battles using a Persona-like entity named Pithos, which manifests as a set of four pillar-like objects covered in abstract, black-and-white patterns. Traditionally, a pithos is a type of container from the Neolithic, Bronze Age, and Iron Age. Later on, however, she awakens and Pithos transforms into a true Persona: Pandora, the first human woman from Greek mythology, as well as the one responsible for unleashing all of humanity's evils on the world after opening the fabled "Pandora's Box".

Unlike the traditional Gnostic depiction of Sophia as an aspect of the "True God", this one appears to be based on the Nag Hammadi Gnostic texts where she is the lowest Aeon that represents wisdom. Interestingly, a more appropriate representation of the original interpretation where she is an aspect of the true god who accidentally created the Demiurge exists in the game.

  • 11th-Hour Superpower: She awakens to Pandora and gains the Hope Arcana late in the game after rejecting Kuon's orders to kill the Phantom Thieves. Immediately afterward, Sophia gains Makougaon, which is the only way for her to learn Makougaon (even in New Game Plus).
  • Anime Hair: Her pigtails are in the shape of chains of hearts that aren't physically connected to her head. These pigtails combine into a ponytail when she's in combat. Given that she's an AI and that her base hairstyle looks like Boyish Short Hair, it's unclear whether they're supposed to represent her hair or antennae.
  • Antagonistic Offspring: She was created by Ichinose and goes against her near the end of the game to protect humanity from EMMA.
  • Artificial Intelligence: She's an AI, specifically a prototype for the AI that runs the EMMA application. As a result, she can only take on a physical form in the Metaverse. While outside it, she communicates with the Phantom Thieves through Joker's smartphone.
  • Audience Surrogate: As the greenhorn of the group, she's this for anyone who didn't play Persona 5, as a way to help bring them up to speed somewhat.
  • Badass Adorable: Physically speaking, she looks the same age as Futaba and Kasumi, and yet she can wipe out scores of Shadows just as easily as the rest of them.
  • Battle Cry: "Shine, Pandora!"
  • Become a Real Boy: While not literally (as she's an AI in Joker's phone), part and parcel of her story arc involves this, as she grows from a naïve digital assistant to a thinking, feeling person. Her gaining an actual Persona cements her as having grown into humanity, as only those who have developed egos can have Shadows or Personas. By the end, she's essentially a human girl living in a phone.
  • Bishōnen Line: Her Mock-Persona, Pithos, usually takes the form of several floating objects covered in strange patterns. When they combine and transform into Sophia's actual Persona, Pandora, she takes on the form of a woman with a box on or in place of her head surrounded by four panels. Both the box and panels have similar patterns to those on Pithos's units.
  • Braids of Action: Whenever she's in a Jail, Sophia's "pigtails" combine into a singular "braid". By that point, it's shown she is a very strong combatant.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Thanks to Ichinose during the Phantom Thieves diving into the Jail of the Abyss. She snaps out of it later.
  • The Bus Came Back: After 23 years, five videogame console generations and over ten games in the series, Pandora returns to the Persona games as a summonable Persona. Fittingly enough, her first appearance was that of an Eldritch Abomination, while in Strikers she is a Bless user and a literal carrier of hope for the Phantom Thieves.
  • But Now I Must Go: After defeating Demiurge, she decides to leave with her creator Ichinose to parts unknown at the end of the game to help Ichinose better understand the human heart and help her from straying from the path.
  • Cain and Abel: Is the Abel to EMMA's Cain. Sophia is "humanity's companion", genuinely helpful, and sweet as a button. EMMA is humanity's end, in someone else's control, and coldly logical.
  • Catchphrase:
    • "Okay, leave it to me."
    • "I am Sophia, humanity's companion."
    • "Praise accepted~"
  • Character Tic: Sophia occasionally hums a little tune to herself. Something she picked up from her creator, Ichinose.
  • Charge Attack: The last of her Master Arts lets her charge her blaster to fire a Gravity Shot that drags Shadows inward. It doesn't work on bosses.
  • Combat Medic: Her skillset leans heavily into this, as Pithos and Pandora learn a lot of healing spells - eventually culminating in potentially having Mediarahan (heals the party to full) and Samarecarm (revival with full HP). This is in addition to her Light-based attacking spells and her physical abilities.
  • Constantly Curious: Being a learning AI whose purpose is to learn the nature of the heart and installed with a desire to be "Humanity's Companion", Sophia wants to learn everything she can about the world around her, often expressing wonder at the things she witnesses during her journey with the Thieves.
  • The Cutie: She has an adorable design and innocent personality, reacts in wide-eyed amazement to the wonders of the world and often hums cutely.
  • Dem Bones: One of the units that make up Pithos has a stylized depiction of a skeleton on it, while another has what appears to be a pair of skeletal hands on it.
  • Ditzy Genius: She has a wide array of knowledge due to being a learning AI with access to the internet, but no real experience on how to apply that knowledge. At one point in Alice's Jail, she gets valet parking and ballet dancing confused despite them being completely different concepts with no connection to each other.
  • Dual Wielding: She uses a pair of oversized yo-yos to face Shadows.
  • Everyone's Baby Sister: Being both the newest Phantom Thief and an AI with little experience but earnest desire to learn about humanity, Sophia becomes this to the rest of the Thieves. They're extremely protective and supportive of Sophia and her endeavors to learn about herself and human hearts. They do not take it kindly at all when the voice in the Okinawa Jail and Sophia's own creator Kuon Ichinose insult and declare her existence a mistake and meaningless. It even causes Ryuji to say the word "fuck" uncensored, the only time in any game where he has ever said it in a voiced line. Needless to say, she adores the Thieves for being her closest friends. Joker in particular gets this a bit more since not only is he one of the first 3 Thieves to meet her, Sophia being stuck inside his phone makes him the closest one she can talk to while inquiring about how humans work in the real world; this even extends to gameplay where Sophie mimics Joker's signature glove-fixing animation when she joins in on an All-Out Attack.
  • Exotic Eye Designs: She has several black bands in her irises and her pupils are white. It's justified as she is an AI who could likely appear however she wished.
  • Fighting from the Inside: When she's controlled by Ichinose and forced to fight the Phantom Thieves, she fights to regain control of herself. This is represented by her eyes alternating between blue and red.
  • Flawed Prototype: She's a prototype of the EMMA AI, created by Kuon Ichinose to understand human emotion, and ended up being deemed a failure and thrown away after asking the latter what a human heart is. Subverted, in that this is only a flaw to Ichinose; she later realizes her successor, EMMA, is actually much worse at her purpose due to being unable to assess emotions. Thus, Sophia is actually a Super Prototype.
  • Floating Limbs: Pandora's fingers and feet are disconnected from the rest of her body.
  • Foreshadowing: There are some tips in-game that indicate Sophia's true identity.
    • When first recruited, she uses Pithos, which doesn't seem to be a Persona, nor does is it considered to be an awakening. Furthermore, all of its skills have "?" behind it (i.e. Tetraja? Dia?) and its Arcana was never shown. There's actually more to it, and when she awakens in earnest, she manifests Pandora, a real Persona, with an Arcana and the question marks behind its skills removed.
      • Pithos is also a jar, and an inanimate object which was the actual container Pandora opened to unleash the world's vices instead of a box-like in traditional belief (this happens because of a mistranslation from Greek to Latin). This indicates that Sophia wasn't anything more than a tool created by Ichinose, and she was capable of ascending into her very own entity instead of a mere application.
      • The Arcana of Pandora, the Hope Arcana is not one of the traditional Arcanas, but from an early Tarot deck known as the Visconti-Sforza deck, just like Yoshizawa and her Faith. Upwards it represents hope and optimism, but reversed it represents pessimism and false hope. Sophia grants hope upon the people who become friends with her, but her "superior counterpart", EMMA was a mechanical monstrosity who grants the public false hope by brainwashing them.
    • In the Phantom Thieves' Japan-wide trip, Sophia acts as a tour guide to the party, a function inherited from EMMA, which does the same.
    • When the party meets Ichinose personally in-game for the last time before The Reveal in Sendai, they show Ichinose Sophia, causing her to drop whatever loud and peppy disposition she is using right before and acts alarmingly lukewarm. Later on, we know that Sophia is the AI Ichinose dropped in a fit of rage, and the disposition she is using in front of the Phantom Thieves there was just there to prevent the Phantom Thieves from being freaked out by her natural stance (which was implied to be quite freaky). She was actually surprised that the Phantom Thieves had something that actually triggers her insecurities.
    • Sophia can hear voices inside Jails that the Phantom Thieves cannot hear. These voices were actually EMMA trying to telepathically interact with an AI that she believes was inferior, and she can hear them because she was a prototype of EMMA.
    • Early on, when the Phantom Thieves had confirmed that Alice was distorted, they plan a heist on her, suggesting stealing her Treasure. Sophia responds by saying that there could be no Treasure in the Jails, and casually suggests that they should kill Alice instead, something that will result in a Mental Shutdown. While this was immediately corrected, when Ichinose was defeated in earnest, she asks Sophia to kill her out of guilt. She refuses, but the suggestion to kill Alice was probably inherited from Ichinose's mindset.
  • Girl in a Box: Inverted, since she actually is the massive box seen at the Junkyard during the start of the game. Pandora also evokes this during her awakening, as Pithos' parts stack into a single piece before unfolding to reveal her body.
  • Grew Beyond Their Programming: Over the course of Strikers, she grows from a Blank Slate with no ambition except becoming humanity's companion to a fully-thinking, sapient being.
  • Identity Amnesia: Averted unlike other Mysterious Waif characters seen in the Persona series. Sophia doesn't suffer from amnesia despite the fact she obviously doesn't remember anything. Ichinose just scrapped her within minutes for her very own petty reasons before she went to work on EMMA, and as a result, she's basically close to blank.
  • Idiot Hair: While not that prominent, she has a strand of hair standing up on top of her head.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Her melee weapon of choice is a pair of oversized yo-yos of all things, which she uses for terrifyingly effective crowd control.
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: Sophia has baby blue eyes that represent her innocence and naivety about the world.
  • Innocent Innuendo: When first meeting the rest of the Phantom Thieves, she asks them if they want her to "show her code". Futaba naturally agrees, perhaps with a little too much enthusiasm.
  • Innocently Insensitive: While Sophia couldn't have known it at the time since she was only a few minutes old, the reason Ichinose shut her down so quickly was because Sophia asked her about what a heart was and to tell her about hers, unintentionally mashing her creator's Trauma Button/Berserk Button.
  • Instant Home Delivery: She serves as the team's shopkeeper during their journey across Japan, placing orders online and having them delivered within seconds no matter where they are. There's no risk because Sophia can quickly make sure that such orders will not break the law, up to and including the purchase of a gold bar.
  • Interspecies Friendship: She claims that she wants to be a friend to humanity, and becomes good friends with the Phantom Thieves, so much so that Ryuji and Morgana are the first to stand up for her when EMMA tries to give her a "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
  • In the Hood: She wears a puffy white hoodie. In battle she wears the hood up to cover her face, with her mask being a screen that shows shapes in the place of eyes.
  • "Just Frame" Bonus: Sophia's attack power and speed increase if she attacks as soon as she catches her yo-yo.
  • Killer Yoyo: She uses a pair of giant yo-yos in battle.
  • Lack of Empathy: When the Phantom Thieves talk about stealing hearts, she initially suggests killing the Shadows instead which is met with shock since the physical person will die. She quickly gets over it, however.
  • Light 'em Up: She specializes in the Bless element to fill in for Akechi and Yoshizawa's absence from the group.
  • Light Is Good: Sophia's main outfit is white and she utilises Bless attacks. She's also one of the heroes, and the more innocent of the bunch.
  • Magikarp Power: While not necessarily weak by herself, six of her later skillsnote  cannot be unlocked until her Persona evolves into Pandora.
  • Meaningful Name: "Sophia" is the name of the true god in Gnosticism. In most, if not all versions, she is also the creator of the Demiurge, who in turn creates materiality. It turns out she was a prototype AI for the EMMA app, which is controlled by an AI version of the Demiurge.
  • Machine Monotone: Downplayed. Sophia is able to provide inflection in her voice, but it's somewhat stilted and flat, like the kind of programmed voice you'd hear coming from a home assistant or from a smartphone's voice command function. This fades slowly over the course of the game, vanishing completely once she awakens her true Persona, Pandora, showing that she has truly gained an ego and a heart.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: When the rest of the thieves are discussing the best way to steal Alice's heart and remove the jail she created, Sophia suggests killing her as the most efficent way to solve the problem. The thieves, horrified, quickly explain to her why they don't kill, and she drops the issue immediately afterwards.
  • Nice Girl: Sophia is a kindhearted program who only wants to help humanity in any way she can, and is extremely forgiving to the point of helping Ichinose, her creator who scrapped her for very petty reasons, learn what it means to have a heart and atone for creating EMMA.
  • The Nose Knows: She has the unique ability to detect Jails by their scent, which none of the other thieves can sense. This is because of her connection to EMMA, who created the Jails to begin with.
  • Pint Sized Power House: She's shorter than Futaba, but able to slaughter swarms of Shadows with ruthless efficiency like any of the other Thieves.
  • Quizzical Tilt: When confused about something, Sophia tilts her head and leans her body to the right.
  • Ray Gun: Her preferred ranged weapon.
  • Red Is Heroic: Sophia has red hair and is one of the heroic Phantom Thieves.
  • Renamed the Same: Her real name and codename, Sophia and Sophie respectively, are practically the same, only being separated by one syllable and letter. Some of the Phantom Thieves lampshade this at first, wondering what the point of the codename is if it's essentially unchanged.
  • Robot Girl: She's the physical form of the EMMA AI prototype, rejected for her being too curious about the human heart.
  • Robot Wizard: AI Wizard, technically, but she qualifies as this after awakening her true Persona, Pandora.
  • Saying Sound Effects Out Loud: Sophia often uses onomatopoeia to describe how things should react or how she feels. Frequently, she describes the effect of traveling between reality and the metaverse as "SHOWOWOWOWOW"
  • Shown Their Work: Her initial Persona being Pithos references the fact that in the original myth, Pandora's Box was actually a pithos (a large jar). However, when the myth was translated from Greek to Latin, it was mistaken for "pyxis", the Latin word for box, hence why it's commonly known today as Pandora's Box instead of Pandora's Pithos or Jar.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: When Akira Konoe tries to convince the Thieves that they're not so different since they're both trying to change the world by changing people's hearts, she points out that there's a fundamental difference between them. The Phantom Thieves actually saved people, Akira just trapped them in their own trauma.
    Sophia: Don't you understand? [...] For you, changing someone's heart means imprisoning them. But for the Phantom Thieves, it means setting them free. You may steal Desires like them, but the Phantom Thieves give people hope. Maybe you don't realize it. But I think, deep down, you know you're nothing like them. (later) I've seen the Monarchs and the people whose hearts you've changed. They didn't look happy at all. I don't think you saved anyone doing what you did.
  • Sliding Scale of Robot Intelligence: Somewhere around tier 3 to tier 4. She's way more advanced than any typical application and intelligent enough to act as a logistical guide and a shopping manager. She's also capable of learning enough emotions to actually gain agency, unlike EMMA who never acts out of the programming.
  • Slow Laser: The shots fired by Sophia's blaster are oddly slow, but have a wide area to make up for it.
  • Spanner in the Works: As the metaphorical "hope at the bottom of Pandora's Box", the Phantom Thieves note at the end that they'd have never won if Sophia was never around to help guide them through the Jails.
  • Squishy Wizard: Sophia has great Magic and Agility, and her skillset is built to deal damage with Bless spells and provide potent healing, but her HP and Endurance are fairly low.
  • Stripperiffic: Pandora wears a pair of black straps that leave little to the imagination.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: To Yoshizawa from Royal:
    • Both are redheads who sport a "ponytail"note  in their Metaverse outfits and specialize in the Bless element, while also being decent healers. They both also share Arcana from the Visconti-Sforza deck (Yoshizawa is Faith, while Sophia is Hope).
    • Both are also closer to Joker than to the other Thieves, Yoshizawa in an emotional sense of him being her most trusted friend, Sophia in a physical sense of being inside his phone.
    • Then there's the fact that both of them are "inferior" versions of another character in the story of their respective games, but Sophia was supposedly a Flawed Prototype of the Demiurge AI that runs the EMMA app only for EMMA to be the real inferiority, and "Kasumi" actually being her inferior sister Sumire, which was for real because Sumire didn't fully realize her talents.
    • Both are also being manipulated by a Hidden Villain ally, and forced against their will to fight against the Thieves.
  • Tarot Motifs: The Hope Arcana from the Visconti-Sforza deck, representing hope, optimism, and positivity. This is reflected with both of her Personas; Pithos and Pandora, as in Greek myth when Pandora opened the pithos (or box, depending on the telling) containing all the evils of the world, the only thing remaining inside the box was Hope. Joker first encounters Sophia while she's in the form of a giant box and then takes the form of a girl thanks to Joker's wishes, and claims that her mission is to become a friend to humanity.
  • Token Mini-Moe: Futaba has a head or two over Sophia, and Futaba is only five feet tall. She'd easily be the shortest member of the Thieves if it weren't for Morgana.
  • Virtual Sidekick: She is a rather unusual case, as she does have a "physical" body while in the Metaverse and can serve as a proper party member. When out of the Metaverse, she inhabits Joker's smartphone and basically acts like an extremely knowledgeable guide and shopping manager, but is incapable of helping with anything physical.
  • White Mage: She learns both Light elemental attacks and a good amount of healing spells, and is even decked out in all white to boot.
  • Wrong Context Magic: Pithos is treated in-game as Sophia's Persona, but it comes literally out of nowhere with no awakening, Pithos bears no arcana of its own, and every skill it earns is followed by a question mark (i.e. Kouga? Dia?). In Sophia's own words, she is simply mimicking the Phantom Thieves. Subverted when Sophia has a proper awakening and gains Pandora, which removes the question marks.
  • You Didn't Ask: Sophie casually brings out her "Persona" shortly after Joker, Ryuji, and Morgana first meet her. When asked why she didn't mention that she was a Persona user, Sophia mentions that nobody asked her about it. The same goes for her being an AI, if Joker questions her about it after leaving the Metaverse for the first time.

    Zenkichi Hasegawa / "Wolf" 

Zenkichi Hasegawa / "Wolf"

Arcana: V. Priest (Japan)/Apostle (English)

Persona: Valjean

Weapons: Large swords and dual revolvers

Voiced by: Shin-ichiro Miki (Japanese), Tom Taylorson (English)
Click here to see Wolf 
Click here to see Valjean 

Valjean: "Do you finally see the truth? Do you know the true face of the guilty? They condemn the good to slavery. Pretend they do not see their agony. ...Just as you once did. But another story must begin. Now, show your gaolers that you will wear a different chain. I am thou, thou art I... If you yet seek true justice, we will see it done!"
Zenkichi: "Fine. Seal the contract...VALJEAN!!! I know what I have to do now. Condemn the evil, and hunt them down!"

An inspector from the Kyoto Prefectural Police's Public Security Department who appeared in front of the Phantom Thieves right before they went to summer vacation in order to arrest them for the change of hearts case a few years ago, which is suspect for a brand new incident. While they are still allowed on vacation, he has to monitor them, effectively putting them on probation. However, in truth, he is using it to investigate the case further in hopes of finding the true culprit rather than believing the Thieves were responsible for the incidents.

His Persona is Valjean, after the titular protagonist from Les Misérables, awakened after confronting his daughter's shadow self. Valjean was a young man sentenced to a five-year prison term after stealing for his starving niece. After multiple escape attempts, Valjean becomes conflicted from the cynicism of being labeled an unwanted criminal by society, and the hope he finds in helping others less fortunate, such as his young ward Cosette. Valjean was constantly on the run from Inspector Javert, his Arch-Nemesis who has a blind view towards justice. As a Persona, Valjean appears as a chained knight wearing formal clothes underneath.

  • Accomplice by Inaction: He's viewed this way by the Shadow of his daughter Akane, who thinks that he ignored his responsibilities as a police officer when Zenkichi abandoned his investigation into Owada out of fear for her safety. Shadow Akane points out that it wasn't just her who suffered, as the family of the innocent man who was framed for the crime also had to endure it. The Phantom Thieves rebuke this accusation, reminding him that he should not be ashamed of what he did to protect his daughter, and not abandon his belief in justice. His Persona, Valjean, represents his promise to never again turn a blind eye to the suffering of others.
  • Action Dad: Father to Akane Hasegawa, and the first parent in the entire Shin Megami Tensei series or Persona spinoff series to become a front-line Persona user and party member. His daughter is also the reason he awakened Valjean in the first place.
  • Adults Are Useless: Averted.
    • From a story perspective, Zenkichi proves himself to be a competent and valuable asset to the Phantom Thieves. He gives them much-needed help even when the Thieves had little reason to trust him; he hooks them up with nice hotels, tells them to take breaks and enjoy their summer break, and at one point he even saves their lives from the rioting of brainwashed Okinawa residents since he realized something was wrong. Zenkichi even shouted to the Thieves to escape when the police showed up to falsely arrest them in their hotel, which gets him arrested.
    • From a gameplay perspective, Zenkichi also averts Late Character Syndrome since his level matches Joker's when he joins, and his specialties in Almighty damage, Gun damage, and status buffs (most notably Heat Riser and Debilitate) mean that he can pull his weight just as much as any other Phantom Thief.
  • Affectionate Nickname: "Gramps" eventually evolves into this as the Phantom Thieves warm up to him. One of his lines upon winning a battle has him use it as an Appropriated Appellation.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: When the Phantom Thieves (bar Futaba) are captured by Shadow Akane, Zenkichi briefly replaces Joker as the main player character when he comes to rescue them and receiving his own Persona, after which he fully becomes playable as a Phantom Thief himself.
  • Badass Normal: Even before gaining a Persona, Zenkichi was pretty badass in his own right. He proves to be a useful ally to the Phantom Thieves by providing them with information, effortlessly punches out several people when they try to attack him, and snuck through Akane's jail to rescue the thieves despite knowing he'd likely die if a shadow found him.
  • Battle Cry: "Strike them, Valjean!"
  • Becoming the Mask: Downplayed. If the Phantom Thieves showed any signs of hiding evidence, he was ordered to arrest them. He had no intentions of betraying or harming the teens, but his job as an investigator came first and foremost, even if it meant using the Phantom Thieves. Over time, Zenkichi comes to care for them greatly, especially after they help his daughter Akane. This leads to him taking the fall for them during the impulsive police raid in Kyoto, and becomes a Phantom Thief in his own right to fight against Konoe and later the Mastermind.
  • Beach Bury: During the Okinawa trip, he gets this from the Thieves, making him look like the Venus de Milo. Naturally, he bursts out in anger upon realizing this and starts chasing his pranksters while threatening to arrest them.
  • BFS: As Wolf, his melee weapon of choice is a large two-handed sword that's almost as tall as he is.
  • Birds of a Feather: Because of the similarities between him and Makoto's father (policemen who are single fathers after losing their wives), as well as Makoto aspiring to follow in her father's footsteps, Zenkichi bonds with Makoto most out of all the Phantom Thieves.
  • Blackmail: Got hit by this two years ago when he tried to investigate his wife's death, getting a death threat directed against his daughter, which forced him to drop the case. Justified, as the culprit is Jyun Owada, a politician with connections to Shido. Based on Shido being so powerful during that time, the threats definitely wouldn't have been empty had he continued his investigation then.
  • Broken Pedestal: To his daughter Akane, for not looking into the death of her mother. As it turned out, he tried, but stopped after The Conspiracy threatened Akane. By the time he reveals this, unfortunately, Akane has become so consumed by wrath that she views this as only an act of cowardice. It becomes a case of Rebuilt Pedestal after her Shadow's defeat allows them to reconcile.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: While he's a genuinely talented police officer, any respect this might earn from the Phantom Thieves gets offset by how dorky he comes off as when he's trying to look cool.
    Futaba: Zenkichi’s really doing his job! It’s almost like he’s an actual cop or something!
    Zenkichi: I AM an actual cop!
    Ryuji: Daamn Gramps, you really are a sleuth, aren'tcha? You should be on one of those cop shows!
    Zenkichi: I'm already a cop in real life, genius!
  • But Now I Must Go: After the Demiurge's defeat, he departs from the thieves in order to ensure Owada's arrest. Despite this, he promises to always be there for the thieves should they ever need him.
  • Butt-Monkey: He gets pranked and teased quite often due to his age and physical appearance, with the PTs never missing a chance to remind him of how he looks shady as hell. He also has a tendency to land into embarrassing situations before he unlocks his Persona, such as completely losing his marbles when shown a Jail for the first time. When asleep at the beach with the Thieves, Zenkichi gets sand placed around him so that he can't move when he wakes up. All of it is played for comedy. This is reflected with Zenkichi having an even worse Luck stat than Ryuji and Yusuke.
  • Cast from Hit Points: Activating Wolf's Fury Mode in the Metaverse will cause his attacks to deal more damage and greatly increase their range. This comes at the cost of taking away some of his HP every so often.
  • Chained by Fashion: Valjean wears cages around his head, chest, hands, and legs. This is a nod to his inspiration's criminal past.
  • Composite Character: Of Sojiro Sakura and Sae Niijima, as both of them were Demoted to Extra. Zenkichi acts like the Team Dad of the group like Sojiro did, and ends being the biggest ally to the Phantom Thieves within the law enforcement in this game like Sae was.
  • Cool Old Guy: Idle dialogue during the Osaka boss fight indicates he's in his forties, yet he's perfectly capable of keeping pace with a group of fighters under half his age. He's also the oldest Persona user in the entire Shin Megami Tensei series.
  • Daddy Had a Good Reason for Abandoning You: The reason he was so cold and standoffish to Akane — even calling her a "burden" at one point — was to keep her safe, as Zenkichi was being threatened to drop the investigation into his wife's murder or else Akane would die. Shadow Akane doesn't buy this as an excuse, calling him out as a coward.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Despite his black suit and shady appearance, Zenkichi is a good man who eventually becomes a member of the Phantom Thieves.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Played for Laughs. After the Thieves cover him with a "Birth of Venus" style sand sculpture while he's asleep, he angrily chases after them and demands they stand still so he can arrest them.
  • Dub Name Change: The localization changed his Arcana from Priest to Apostle.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: He dislikes the Phantom Thieves addressing him as "Gramps" because of his age.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: He was already badass from the start, being a skilled hand-to-hand combatant, but gaining a Persona made him even stronger.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Zenkichi gets two; one for when the player is introduced to him, and one for when the Phantom Thieves are.
    • During a PubSec briefing about the "change of heart" epidemic, Zenkichi is shown silently listening at the back of the room until they mention an incident where the Director-General for Criminal Affairs stripped down naked and ran around the precinct. Zenkichi barely manages to stifle his laughter at the debriefing, showing that he's not as cold-hearted as the police we saw in the previous game.
    • The Phantom Thieves meet Zenkichi when he stops the plastered suit that was harassing them, introducing himself as their "Knight in Shining Armor" and laying the drunk out, complete with a quip, when he takes a swing at him. When the suit's much less sloshed employee threatens to call the police, Zenkichi flashes his badge and states that he is the police, establishing him as a well-meaning and competent cop who tries a little too hard to look cool, and a rather unlucky cop at that, since the suit's employee booked it, abandoning his boss.
  • Evil Laugh: His Shadow/Persona does this to him as its giving him a "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
  • Expy: Gameplay-wise, he is something of a fusion of Shinjiro from Persona 3 and Naoto from Persona 4, being a Persona user with no elemental strengths or weaknesses that also specializes purely in physical and non-elemental skills and uses revolvers for ranged attacks.
  • Face of a Thug: He looks very shady with that long hair and sly face, but he's no villain to begin with, siding with the Phantom Thieves to the very end.
  • First-Name Basis: Much like Futaba with Sojiro, the Phantom Thieves (eventually) take to referring to him by his first name, despite the age gap and their lack of familial ties. He considers it to be an upgrade from them simply calling him "old man" or "Gramps" all the time.
  • Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse:
    • His reasoning when the Phantom Thieves began to falter in their belief when they learned of Mariko Hyodo's Start of Darkness. Yes, she was scapegoated by a senator vying for her job as mayor of Sapporo for the death of a child caused by a collapsed ice sculpture, and was blackmailed by said senator's accomplice into inaction by passive-aggressively threatening her that he'd tell the police she told him to use faulty ordinance, but she's still responsible for Sapporo and using EMMA is not helping her.
    • After explaining to Akane that he was ultimately blackmailed into not arresting Owada for his wife's murder, Akane isn't satisfied with this excuse. Her Shadow points out that Zenkichi left the family of a falsely-accused secretary with guilt and shame over a crime they didn't commit. That being said, Akane was Brainwashed and Crazy at that time, and the Phantom Thieves defend that prioritizing the safety of a loved one is never an unexcusible crime. Zenkichi himself also admits he really messed this up and resolves to get better.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Due to being the in-universe Suspiciously Similar Substitute to Akechi, it takes a while for the Thieves to actually warm up to Zenkichi because they are convinced he's working his own angle and will betray them. It isn't until around the time of the second Jail that they realize he isn't a bad guy, and by the time they leave for the fourth Jail, they are more or less turned around in their views on him. When he awakens to Valjean, they welcome him as one of their own.
  • Glass Cannon: Activating his Fury stance turns him into this, making his combos more damaging and longer-ranged at the cost of his HP every few seconds. This is intended to be offset by his melee/gun attacks causing Life Drain when Fury is deactivated.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Even after finally officially joining the Phantom Thieves, Zenkichi tends to take this stance when the others empathize with the various Monarchs. When they learn the source of Konoe's trauma, that he was a victim of child abuse and his father even killed his mother, Zenkichi reminds the Thieves that what happened to him doesn't justify what is doing now.
  • Guns Akimbo: He wields twin Smith & Wesson No. 3 revolvers.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: He joins the Phantom Thieves to save his daughter and take down the person responsible, and his weapon is a two-handed sword.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: He doesn't think highly of himself as a police officer due to the long hours and schedules that keep him from seeing his daughter Akane, and how Owada (heavily implied to be taking advantage of his ties with Shido) blackmailed him by threatening Akane's if he kept investigating his wife's murder. He tries to discourage Makoto from pursuing the profession, but after a heart to heart with the Phantom Thieves when going through Akane's Jail, he gains a renewed sense of self and vows to fight on.
  • Improbable Weapon User: One of his equippable weapons is a street sign.
  • Irony: He is a cop, but his Persona is Jean Valjean, who was at odds with the original Inspector Javert... who his daughter behaves like.
  • Implacable Man: While he starts out as a Jack of All Stats, Valjean evolves into this by the endgame whose skills mesh well with Zenkichi's playstyle to make him a nigh-unstoppable attacker. He has powerful buffs and debuffs that target just one person (Heat Riser, Debilitate), powerful physical skills (One-Shot Kill, Agneyastra) that he can spam thanks to his Life Draining normal attacks, passive skills that ensure he keeps fighting (Enduring Soul, Firm Stance) and of course the Megido skills.
  • Jack of All Stats: Zenkichi has no resistances or weaknesses to any elements; he also uses Almighty spells as his primary magic element, which likewise isn't resisted by anything but doesn't exploit any weakness, though it can hit for Technical damage against Dizzy opponents. His stats are balanced in the middle of all the Phantom Thieves (with a slight edge in Strength). His skillset is fairly versatile with a mix of Almighty spells, Physical and Gun skills, and access to all three buff skills and Debilitate later on.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: In Sapporo, while relations between him and the Phantom Thieves are tense, he says Mariko is responsible for her own actions and should take responsibility for the tragedy that caused a child's death, because she's the top authority. The Phantom Thieves are offended, but realize he has a point, and Mariko does just that after her change of heart.
  • Justice Will Prevail: Thanks to both Makoto's optimism about the law, as well as his Persona Valjean encouraging him, Zenkichi declares that he'll punish the guilty, and "hunt them down" if the guilty try to stop him.
  • Kubrick Stare: The official artwork for his civilian attire shows him doing this.
  • The Lancer: In contrast to Ryuji, who serves as a Foil to Joker in regards to personality and demeanour, Zenkichi contrasts Joker, and by extension the others, by possessing a more cynical and pragmatic mindset as opposed to their more idealistic ones, such as when the group is agonizing over whether or not to target Mariko due to her Freudian Excuse, he outright tells them to suck it up and that, while she undoubtedly has tragic reasons for her actions, it was partially due to her own negligence and it doesn't change the fact that she's hurting people in the present as a result, which the Thieves find hard to deny and is ultimately what gives them the final push. Later on, when Ichinose Brainwashes Sophie into attacking the Thieves, Zenkichi pushes for the others to fight back when they prove reluctant since if they get killed, there will be no one to stop the Ark of the Covenant. This is even shown in-game in the fight against Sophie: Zenkichi's AI is the only one who will actively try and attack her, while the other AI characters only try to avoid Sophie's attacks.
  • Last-Name Basis: In contrast to Akechi, he refers to all the Phantom Thieves by their surnames, but they call him by his first name, though that takes a bit, since they eagerly called him "Gramps" to take the piss.
  • Late Character Syndrome: Averts this. Despite being a late-game party member, in a New Game Plus he is playable from the start of the game, and due to his skillset having Almighty damage and party buffs, he can pull his weight in nearly any situation. Additionally, his level matches Joker's once Zenkichi joins the Thieves.
  • Life Drain: His melee and gun attacks have this whenever Fury is inactive. This is intended to balance out Fury draining his hitpoints when active. One of his Mastery Arts improves the drain.
  • Ma'am Shock: While he is aware of his age, being in his forties in comparison to the rest of the Phantom Thieves, Hasegawa is exasperated every time the Thieves call him an old man, stating that he isn't that old.
  • Meaningful Name: Like Haru, Zenkichi chooses his codename, "Wolf", for a personal reason. He compares his past self to a dog barking on the command of his apathetic superiors and decides that those days are over, committing himself to hunting down all evil "lone wolf or not."
  • Mechanically Unusual Fighter: By dint of primarily using Almighty attacks, Zenkichi is unique among the thieves in that he can't exploit weaknesses but isn't resisted by anything. He also has no weaknesses of his own, but no resistances either.
  • More Dakka: His Showtime attack has him unleashing a hail of bullets upon enemies. He's also the only Thief to learn Gun Skills besides Joker and Haru.
  • My Greatest Failure: Being unable to properly investigate and avenge his wife's death. After getting hit with a blackmail threat against his daughter's life, he halted the investigation. Justified, since the culprit of that incident has ties with Masayoshi Shido, who was more or less controlling the entire Metaverse and considered untouchable during that time, so if Zenkichi actually tried to investigate, things would have gotten ugly fast and end horrifically. Unfortunately, even after Shido was discredited, it still puts a strain on his and Akane's relationship, to the point she blinded herself with hatred towards Zenkichi and embraced the ideals of the Phantom Thieves. Zenkichi in turn views himself as a failure, both as a police investigator and a father. This lasts until the Phantom Thieves convince him that he is far from cowardly by putting Akane's safety first, and his own Shadow convinces him that it's time to act and wake up to justice.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The black-colored cowboy attire he wears in the Metaverse seems to be a reference to an early concept for Black Mask which similarly had him dressed in a dark-colored cowboy outfit.
    • His role as a father figure who looks out for the Phantom Thieves can be viewed as a throwback to Sojiro's role in the original game, which is further emphasized by both Hasegawa and Sojiro being fathers themselves (paternal in the former's case, and adoptive in the latter's), as well as Hasegawa's Apostle Arcana being a counterpart to Sojiro's Hierophant.
  • Non-Elemental: He specializes in attacks with the Almighty attribute, and is the only in game character other than Joker to have access to Almighty skills.
    • Notably, he is the first Persona user since Shinjiro Aragaki and Metis to bear a Persona with no elemental strengths or weaknesses.
  • Not So Similar: To Goro Akechi, who like Akechi is a detective. When Zenkichi offers to ally with the Phantom Thieves and help them prove their innocence, they all assume that Zenkichi is going to betray them like Akechi did. However Zenkichi proved the Phantom Thieves wrong as Zenkichi proved himself to be loyal to them even turning against the police to save him and eventually has a Persona of his own thus becoming an official member of the Phantom Thieves. Also while they both desire to bring about a Corrupt Politician's downfall (Shido and Owada respectively), Akechi was much more selfish in his revenge willing to go against the Phantom Thieves so that he may be the only one to defeat Shido, while Zenkichi truly wants to bring Owada to justice and by cooperating with the Phantom Thieves, Zenkichi was able to succeed where Akechi failed.
  • Older Than They Look: Despite the old man jokes and having much harsher sharper facial features than the teenaged thieves Zenkichi is relatively spry and fresh faced looking for a guy who mentions himself to be in his 40s.
  • Only Sane Man: As the only adult of the group, he's constantly exasperated by the teens' antics as they enjoy their summer break, especially prevalent when he's dealing with Ryuji, Yusuke, Futaba or Haru.
  • Papa Wolf: Puns aside, he's very protective of his daughter and later the Phantom Thieves, even if he has a hard time expressing it. He's understandably pissed at Konoe for forcibly making his daughter a Jail Monarch and using her as a means to eliminate the Phantom Thieves, and makes sure he throws it at his face after the Thieves take down Shadow Akira. Zenkichi even ends up Taking the Bullet for the Phantom Thieves by warning them when a police raid is about to close in on them, allowing the kids to escape while Zenkichi takes the fall and gets arrested.
  • Parents as People: He does care about Akane, though he's clearly struggling with caring for her on his own, which is made even harder by the fact that Akane deeply resents him for not looking into the death of her mother. His frustrations with Akane also reached a peak in the past where he outright referred to her as a burden (though that was at least in part to distance himself from her to keep her safe), estranging them even more.
  • Police Brutality: Gets hit by this despite being a police officer himself. After he is arrested for aiding the Phantom Thieves, Zenkichi has his head pressed against the table by his interrogator and is threatened with even worse torture methods if he does not give up the Phantom Thieves' location, but he takes it like a champ.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Receives one during his awakening from his Shadow/Persona, who basically calls him a coward who sold his justice for comfort, making him no better than Owada.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: He used to live in Tokyo with his family and was reassigned somewhere else to keep him away from his wife's hit-and-run case. Somewhat Downplayed in that he was able to choose where he was reassigned to and he picked Kyoto because that's where his parents-in-law lived. He even got the house next to theirs so they could keep an eye on their granddaughter.
  • Redeeming Replacement: Symbolically, he serves as this to the law enforcement in the original Persona 5 game, who were portrayed as incompetent at best and maliciously corrupt at worst. Zenkichi is there to show the Phantom Thieves and the players that honest policemen with a sense of duty and justice do exist.
  • Red Herring: With facial features resembling Masayoshi Shido, long hair, and heavily unkempt clothes, combined with an incredibly uncomposed and shady-looking stature, Zenkichi doesn't look like a trustworthy person to begin with. Combined with him being the head inspector in charge of finding evidence for the Phantom Thieves' involvement in the recent mass Change of Hearts and their general distrust for him during the start of the game, you may think that he's going to be a major antagonist. He isn't and he actually becomes loyal to your cause.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: In his Wolf outfit, Zenkichi uses dual Smith & Wesson No. 3 Russian revolvers.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: After the Phantom Thieves are being framed for the murder of Shuzo Ubukata, Zenkichi confronts Kaburagi over how suspicious it is since they had never killed anyone before and Konoe and the Commissioner General are suddenly involved with this. When his boss refuses to listen, Zenkichi decides to alert the group of the trap and is arrested as a result.
  • Shout-Out: Zenkichi's Phantom Thief design has multiple references to Les Misérables.
    • His code name "Wolf" is the word used to label criminals in the novel.
    • His Persona, Valjean, is based on the novel's main character Jean Valjean, and has the number "24601" printed on him, referencing Valjean's prison inmate number.
    • In the English version of his Persona awakening, Valjean's lines include direct references to song lyrics from the Les Miserables musical.
  • Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: Zenkichi has a rather cynical view on justice, especially in what the police can actually do about catching criminals. This conflicts with the more idealistic Thieves a couple of times through the story.
    • The Phantom Thieves struggle to send Mariko, the third Monarch, a calling card due to them sympathizing with her motives. Zenkichi, upon learning about this, calls them out on their indecision and mentions that it is childish to believe in "absolute good and evil."
    • During their trip to Kyoto, he starts to have a heart-to-heart with Makoto about her future career goals. Zenkichi actually tries to talk her out of becoming a cop (much less one who hopes to rise through the ranks and reform the system) because, in his opinion, the reality is there are too much red tape and conflicting interest that prevents them from truly helping society.
    • Eventually the story reveals that Zenkichi's idealism got beat out of him. After his wife was killed in a manslaughter by Owada, and Owada used his connections to both cover up his crime and blackmail Zenkichi into not pursuing further investigations, Zenkichi gave into cynicism. It's not until he was finally confronted with his failures when facing Shadow Akane and awakening his own persona, did his old idealism return.
  • Sixth Ranger: Unlike Sophia and the rest of the Thieves who are playable since the game's beginning, Zenkichi only awakens his Persona and becomes playable starting in the Kyoto Jail, slightly over halfway into the game. He also shakes up the party formula by being a grown adult, parent, and police inspector, all of which have traditionally been either targets and/or opponents of the Phantom Thieves in some way.
  • Sixth Ranger Traitor: The story leans into this, with Zenkichi's parallel with Akechi, making it intentionally ambiguous just how honest Zenkichi is being with the Phantom Thieves. It's finally revealed by the time the group reached Okinawa, that Zenkichi has been instructed to use the group as scapegoats if his investigation reaches a dead-end. By this point in the story, Zenkichi has grown attached to the Thieves and is conflicted on what to do. He ultimately decides to remain loyal to the Thieves.
  • Smoking Barrel Blowout: Blows the smoke off one of his revolvers at the end of his Showtime.
  • Stepford Snarker: Zenkichi provides much of the comic relief in the game but he also hides most of his tragic circumstances behind his sarcastic personality.
  • Super Cop: He's an inspector from PubSec who is also a Persona-user and The Sixth Ranger of the Phantom Thieves.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute:
    • He's this to Akechi. Both of them are investigators who initially oppose the Phantom Thieves but end up allying with them later on, and both have Metaverse outfits that are primarily dark in color and use guns as their main weapon in battle. The brim of Hasegawa's hat resembles a sharp beak and the collar of his coat reaches up to his hat, giving an appearance similar to the helmet and neck brace that Akechi wears in his Black Mask costume. He even has an ability called "Fury" which functions similarly to Akechi's psychotic breakdown abilities and the Desperation skill he uses during the second phase of his boss battle. He also has access to Almighty skills like Akechi, though unlike him, he solely specializes in Almighty and Physical/Gun skills and never gets any Bless/Curse skills.
    • He's also this to Sojiro (who does still show up in the beginning, but moves Out of Focus when the Phantom Thieves go on their road trip across Japan). He's a cynical and grouchy but kind-hearted middle-aged single dad who's associated with the Bureau of Public Safety (Sojiro was retired, while Zenkichi's still on active duty), and forms an Intergenerational Friendship with the protagonists after a rocky beginning. Also, his increasingly bewildered reactions to the madness occurring around him provide a steady stream of comic relief, and his daughter becomes a target for the Phantom Thieves under complicated and unusual circumstances.
    • To Dojima from Persona 4, as a widowed police officer with a strained relationship with his daughter, with said daughter falling victim to the supernatural because of a Red Herring culprit's ignorance. Unlike Nanako, however, Akane is more than willing to call him out.
  • Sword Beam: Capable of sending waves of energy from his sword in Fury mode. A Master Art lets him imbue the waves with an Almighty affinity.
  • Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist: He was supposed to arrest the Phantom Thieves for the Jail incidents but offers them a chance to prove their innocence by investigating them instead. Downplayed, since he's actually no antagonist to begin with.
  • Tarot Motifs: He's the Apostle, which is really a renamed Hierophant from the Thoth deck. In Japanese, this specific Hierophant is referred to as the Shinkan (神官), meaning "Priest". This rename is due to the Hierophant card of the Thoth deck portraying a pagan spiritual leader rather than the traditional Hierophant (the Catholic Pope) or Houou (法王), due to deck creator Aleister Crowley's criticism toward the Church. As such, there are plenty of parallels between him, Sojiro, and Dojima, the two previous Hierophants.
  • Team Dad: He slowly grows more attached to the teens the longer he spends time with them, to the point he takes the fall when the police move to arrest them. After he gains his persona and the Phantom Thieves' full trust, he starts to look out for them even more and embraces their cause. It's worth emphasizing that while he isn't the first adult to support them as Sojiro and Sae have been doing it for far longer, he is the first adult that is exposed to the Thieves' otherworldly battles and eventually joins them with his own Persona and Thief regalia.
  • To Be Lawful or Good:
    • When the Kyoto Prefectural Police was mobilized to arrest the Phantom Thievesnote , Zenkichi calls out his superior for making the arrest without any hard evidence that can used. He decides to let the team go in spite of the risk of him being arrested for helping them evade arrest.
    • Over the course of the game, it's revealed that his superior, Miyako Kaburagi ultimately plans to use the Phantom Thieves as scapegoats if Zenkichi's investigation falls short. Zenkichi for his part is conflicted about this because deny as he might, he's grown attached to the kids.
  • Token Adult: Hasegawa is the only playable adult Persona user in the gamenote , the first adult party member in the series since Eternal Punishment, and the first Persona user who is a father.
  • Welcomed to the Masquerade: Once the Phantom Thieves learn to trust Hasegawa, they introduce him to the Metaverse, if only to make him understand their methods. His reactions are appropriate.
  • Whole Costume Reference: His thief outfit consisting of a distinctive wide brim-pointed hat, black clothes with multiple belts and a scarf, and a longsword are a reference to the popular Japanese franchise Vampire Hunter D. His codename "Wolf" can also bring to mind the costume from Brotherhood of the Wolf.
  • Would Hit a Girl: When Sophia is being controlled, he advocates taking her out rather than risk being defeated themselves. In the boss fight that occurs, he's the only one who will actively try and fight back.


Jail Monarchs

    In General 
The rulers of the Jails. All of them are highly influential celebrities and other figureheads who had managed to obtain abnormal popularity by stealing the desires of citizens using lesser Shadows. In reality, many of them are just people mistreated or wronged in extremely despicable ways, and they used the EMMA app for revenge against the injustice laid upon them. Once their desires are stolen, the citizens become fanatical to the Monarch and all of their work, although they can only maintain influence on people whom they stole desires of. To other people, the Monarchs and their followers are obviously insane.
  • Affably Evil: Many of their real-life counterparts appear to be just friendly folk that the Thieves can interact with very easily.
  • Anti-Villain: With the exception of Ubukata and possibly Natsume, they are overall more sympathetic and morally grey compared to the palace rulers of the original Persona 5, and even Natsume shows a lot more self-awareness and understandable reasoning for his behavior than any of the Persona 5 targets.
  • Arc Villain: The Monarchs serve as the rulers of the Jails that have appeared throughout Japan.
  • The Atoner: Unlike the major targets of Persona 5, this is completely played out straight. If the Phantom Thieves defeat a Monarch, they will apologize for their misdeeds and vow to make amends after their changes of heart. The main difference is that in the original Persona 5, the Thieves were focused on ensuring that corrupt people would be punished for their crimes and wouldn't abuse others anymore and the targets, but because of Yaldabaoth's tampering with their Shadow Selves, more often than not they just break down into weeping husks. In Strikers, however, the Thieves are more focused on helping the wayward Monarchs redeem themselves and there is nothing that prevents the Monarchs from actually atoning, so the former Monarchs actually get to atone for their wrongdoings.
  • Beneath the Mask: Outwardly, the Monarchs are happy, successful people respected by many. Under this façade, they are still deeply troubled people hungry for fame, vengeance, and power who are terrified of being weak and powerless again. Because of this, they indulge in selfish acts and steal others' desires in order to stave off their deep insecurities.
  • Brainwashed:
    • By having lesser Shadows steal the Treasure from a citizen's Shadow, they'll worship and adore the Monarch and whatever they make or do.
    • In a rather unique case, the Monarchs were unintentionally brainwashing themselves as well. EMMA encouraged them to indulge in Konoe's Pay Evil unto Evil mentality by trapping them in a birdcage, reminding them of their old weaknesses, and prevent them from ever making such a mistake again. It's especially prominent on Akane, who started acting in an identical way as Konoe after EMMA captured her, even flat-out spewing Konoe's "Operation Oraculi" step-by-step as "hers".
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Related to the point above, many of these people display extremely obvious signs of going completely Out of Character and are prone to acting in the most outrageous and publicly indecent ways possible, best seen on Alice or Akane.
  • Brainwashing for the Greater Good: Subverted, although all of the Monarchs, including EMMA herself who influences the Monarchs believes they were playing this straight. Konoe even tells the Phantom Thieves that they were comrades who wanted to fix the world of crime when he's finally confronted, but all of them were ignorant to the fact that the people they changed the hearts of have blank eyes, were so unhealthily obsessed to the Monarchs that they sometimes forget to eat or drink or even binge-spend, and generally looked like brainwashed puppets than people.
  • The Caligula: All of them are brainwashed by EMMA and thus thoroughly insane, making them very dangerous public hazards.
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: As a whole, to the Palace rulers;
    • Rather than being amoral and cruel people for formed pocket dimensions out of their own rationalizations for their evil, they're normally okay folks who accepted a Deal with the Devil after feeling abandoned and pushed into a corner. Notably, most of them realize they're becoming worse than the people who hurt them after being beaten by the Thieves.
    • While Palace Rulers act like textbook psychopaths/sociopaths and are actually sociopaths or psychopaths, Jail Monarchs don't really act like anything but normal, decent people until a certain "trigger" is pushed, in which all hell breaks loose in an extremely unnatural way.
  • Dark Secret: The traumatic event that started a Monarch on their dark path manifests in the Jail as a lock that protects their wishes. To get past this lock, the Thieves must go to the location in the real world where the event took place, access the Metaverse from there, and defeat the local Lock Keeper, a powerful Shadow. It isn't easy because a Monarch usually goes to great lengths to hide such a horrible secret, both in the real world and the Metaverse.
  • Despair Event Horizon: What causes them to plead with the EMMA app to "save them" - losing faith that they'll ever be anything more than a forgotten victim.
  • Drunk with Power: In the real world, all Monarchs are inevitably intoxicated by their power over others, whether or not they realize what the source of this power really is.
  • Dub Name Change: They go from being known as Kings in the Japanese version to the more gender-neutral Monarchs in the English version.
  • Fairytale Motifs: The Monarchs confronted in-game are based on fairy tale characters (or characters from various near modern or modern fictitious work), fitting for the game's theme of "Desire" and "Illusions".
    • Alice Hiiragi/Mad Rabbit Alice is based on Alice in Wonderland.
    • Ango Natsume/Nightmare Dragon Ango is based on Castlevania or other Dragon/Black Knight-based devil castle tales.
    • Mariko Hyodo/Snow Empress Mariko is based on the The Snow Queen.
    • Shuzo Ubukata is based on Frankenstein.
    • Akane Hasegawa is a nod to Persona 5.
    • Akira Konoe/Hero Akira and his childhood hero, Zephyrman is based on Tokustatsu shows, particularly the in-universe Phoenix Ranger Featherman R.
    • EMMA/The Demiurge is based on the Fairy Godmother type of character and the Bible.
  • Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: The Phantom Thieves instill this mindset into all of the Monarchs after they're defeated. Essentially, the Thieves admit that the Monarchs are the victims of monstrous injustices. However, the Monarchs ended up taking this desire for justice way too far in the wrong direction. The Thieves insist that their pain doesn't excuse doing so much damage to so many people, especially towards hundreds of strangers who had nothing to do with their trauma.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: The Jail system basically embodies this trope. Since the EMMA application is widespread, basically anyone, as soon as they wished to can use it to put up to millions in danger of losing property, sanity or even life, with Alice and Akane being the most prominent cases. The co-instigator Konoe also pretty much embodies this, as his former status as an abused kid motivated him to kickstart the whole incident.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: Many of the Monarchs are Shadow Archetypes to certain characters from Persona 5. As a result, they have weaknesses that match the corresponding character's primary element:
    • Mad Rabbit Alice is weak to Agi skills. This is because she's a dark counterpart of Ann; both girls are a senior student and alumnus from Shujin respectively and entered the fashion industry, although while Ann had a group of close friends that helped her cope with her anger against Kamoshida and accept her without judgement, Alice resorted to EMMA's salvation to randomly snap and attack anyone who might remind her of the trauma of being bullied, down to judging Ann as a bully herself just because of her appearance.
    • Nightmare Dragon Ango is weak to Bufu skills. Ango is basically a dark counterpart of Yusuke; both young novices to art, Yusuke was plagiarized by Madarame to prop up his mentor's name at his own expense and responded by rebelling to bring his mentor down, while Ango plagiarized work himself, then learned he was only being used for his name, so resorted to EMMA to prop himself up as a "true" genius.
    • Snow Empress Mariko is weak to Psi skills while being a counterpart to Okumura. Both of them are acquainted with Haru and are distorted by the Metaverse's powers, both are attempting to climb the political ranks. However, Hyodo was already an experienced politician when she began to "fall" and her distortion is based around being far too clean, to the point where she abuses her civil wards. Okumura was only starting out in politics after being a corrupt executive with abusive business practices and thus used his own daughter as a political pawn, then died before he could reconcile with her. Interestingly, Snow Empress Mariko is also weak to Curse, and the Psi/Curse weakness combination is shared with Okumura's MDL-GM (large green) robots.
    • Akira the Hero and his Zephyrus Mech are weak to Nuke, Makoto's main element. While Makoto strictly enforces the law with rationalization, Konoe enforces the law blindly via his own version of justice, and anyone he deems a criminal is always a criminal. He's also weak to Electricity, Ryuji's main element. Both had an Abusive Dad that made them have little tolerance for corrupt people, and were elated to get a chance to take down rotten adults with the Metaverse.
    • The Final Boss is weak to Bless and Curse, just like the Lock Keepers. It's much like how Sumire, Joker, and Akechi, being respectively Bless and Curse users joined forces to defeat Maruki, who created a dream world with resemblances of a Jail. Furthermore, Bless is Sophia's main element. While Sophia has high empathy towards the human heart and seeks to grant humanity the light of free will, The Demiurge merely considers its own answer to humanity's suffering as their sole light, completely ignorant that she's not any different from Yaldabaoth or Maruki, the previous reigns of the Metaverse's distortions that might very well doom humanity as a whole.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Many of the Monarchs are such. In all of the Brainwashed Monarchs, it's Invoked by EMMA herself, who deliberately triggers them to do such things on a flip, reminding them that they are no longer the weaklings they were.
    • Alice Hiiragi wanted to be a ray of light for girls in her situation: victims of bullying and Slut-Shaming. But once she became a Bully Hunter with EMMA's power and used the Jail to steal people's Desires, Alice gradually became a bully herself, on a scale even worse than the people she hated could ever achieve. Alice would repeatedly break up happy couples, abuse her managers, and get people to blow all of their money on her with this power. After her change of heart, Alice even admits that she had no reason to do what she did besides feeling like she was owed retribution.
    • Ango Natsume despises Sayuri, which is plagiarized work by Madarame. He's being ripped off for his own plagiarized work by his greedy editors, and he used the EMMA app to turn the tides so the money and praise went to him rather than his family name.
    • Mariko Hyodo is discredited because of an ice sculpture scandal that resulted in the death of a 7-year-old child, in which a corrupt senator uses it to his advantage to take power. When Hyodo used EMMA to take power for herself, she's so obsessed with keeping the city's reputation clean to the point that she overworks her civil wards.
    • Akane Hasegawa is a big fan of the Phantom Thieves, but resents law enforcement. She goes against the Phantom Thieves because they are cooperating with law enforcement due to EMMA.
    • Akira Konoe is obsessed with justice because his father barely treated him like a human, to the point of fabricating false charges of crimes that he committed himself, brainwashing the Police and pretending to cooperate with a Corrupt Politican so he can take power.
    • Even the Demiurge / EMMA herself isn't exempt from this. She believes that she, a flawless AI, is the ultimate answer to humanity's happiness, ignorant of her own flaws as an AI impulsively made by a misanthropic woman out of anger.
  • Lack of Empathy: A collective problem among them. The Monarchs have been driven to a point where the only pain they care about is their own, and refuse to consider the effects their own attempts to become accepted and loved are having on the people around them.
  • Mad Eye: Befitting their deranged natures, several of the Monarchs' shadow selves are depicted with one eye wide open and the other half-squinting.
  • Mini-Boss: The Lock Keepers, monsters with four arms carrying heavy police weaponry and represents the dark secrets of the Jail Monarch. Averted with the Okinawa Lock Keeper, as it serves as the Jail's boss due to its Monarch having committed suicide.
  • Misplaced Retribution: The Monarchs all have specific people that they want to target, mostly those who hurt them or caused them to be a victim of some sort. However, this ended up extending to innocent people, either using them as pawns or not caring what happened to anyone else if it meant getting revenge.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: After they are defeated and talked into submission by the Phantom Thieves, a Monarch has this reaction upon realizing that they have actually become much worse than their original tormentors. The Thieves often give the Monarch a You Are Not Alone speech to give them the moral resolve to make amends for their selfishness.
  • Obliviously Evil: All of the Monarchs are thoroughly broken people who believe that they are using the EMMA app to help or improve society, no matter how much harm they are actually doing. Their horrible life experiences have left them with a very self-centred viewpoint, making the Monarchs believe that they are simply getting well-deserved justice or that the suffering they cause is a fair price for improving society as a whole.
  • Playing the Victim Card: Monarchs genuinely believe that, since they were legitimately victims of a monstrous injustice, they have every right to be horrible to whoever they choose. Their Shadows always give this kind of speech whenever they are defeated by the Phantom Thieves in their Jails, using their own pain and suffering as an excuse for their actions during their Villainous Breakdowns.
    Alice: All my life. I'm no match for the real winners... [...] And I tried SO HARD to change! But I was still made fun of—still bullied... I just wanted to stop being miserable. I poured my heart into fashion and worked to get so far! But then... she showed up again, and started running her mouth about my past... She told everyone what a pathetic little shit I was! [...] That's why I took all of it from her! Her boyfriend, her social circle, everything! And that STILL wasn't enough for me! It wasn't just her. Everyone that talked behind my back, all the people who just stood there when I was getting... I'll destroy every single one of them! [...] This power lets me get revenge... So I...
    Ango: I tried... I really tried. Just like everyone else! I read and read, all through the night! I wrote hours on end, like my life depended on it! And for what!? Nothing I wrote was ever "mine." It was just another work from "Sogo Natsume's grandson." No one! No one ever acknowledged my effort! Not my effort! Not my work! Not even me! [...] No matter where I look, all I ever see is a bunch of thoughtless idiots—slaves to appearances and nothing more... Acknowledge me, dammit! Acknowledge Ango Natsume's efforts for once! I just want someone to see that I really try!
    Mariko: ...As the mayor, I know very well that little girl's death was ultimately my fault. But my staff betrayed me! All for their insatiable greed! I thought I could leave that awful position behind. Unfortunately, it wasn't as simple as that. Had I gone, I'd only be replaced by greedy scum! That's why I never stepped down! In this world, it's either eat or be eaten! And with circumstances so cruel, I decided I'd be the one doing the eating! Even if every last one of my votes were false, at least I could use them to make the world a better place! But if I were replaced as mayor... who would be there to honor that little girl's memory? An innocent girl lost her life, yet I could do nothing to stop the evil still afoot!
  • Psychological Projection: Monarchs are victims of Akira Konoe's Black-and-White Insanity, since the EMMA app uses Akira's one-sided ideals about justice as part of its program. Every Jail is a manifestation of Akira's Pay Evil unto Evil philosophy.
  • Seven Deadly Sins: As a sort of callback to Persona 5, each of the Jails represents one of the seven sins.
    • Shibuya Jail - Lust
    • Sendai Jail - Greed/Vanity
    • Sapporo Jail - Gluttony
    • Okinawa Jail - Sloth
    • Kyoto Jail - Wrath
    • Osaka Jail - Pride
    • Jail of the Abyss - Envy
    • Tree of Knowledge - Melancholy
  • Shadow Archetype: To the Phantom Thieves. Both the Thieves and the Monarchs were victims of the corruption of Japanese society, unable to solve their problems by conventional means. Both groups have also gained access to the Metaverse via a phone app, giving them hope for the first time. The difference is that while the Thieves restrain themselves and steal only distorted desires of single, very corrupt people to help others, the Monarchs freely and indiscriminately steal desires en masse to satisfy their selfish need for vengeance and fame. In fact, the Monarchs are the worst-case example of what happens when people suddenly gain the ability to steal desires.
  • Supernatural Gold Eyes: The Monarchs all have glowing yellow eyes because they are Shadows.
  • Tarot Motifs: While none of the Monarchs have given Arcana, their shadow self represents a different form of Reverse Arcana, usually the arcana of the Phantom Thief that most opposes them.
  • Tragic Villain: In another lifetime, any one of the Monarchs, including Konoe himself, could have been a Phantom Thief. Unfortunately, without anyone to lean on or keep them grounded once they got the power to change hearts, their personal vices overtook them and they ended up as bad as their tormentors.
  • Trapped in Villainy: After defeating Shadow Mariko, Morgana realizes something off about the Monarchs' headquarters in each Jail. To get to the Monarch, the gang has to get past a door that, when touched, induces a vivid audio memory related to the traumas that the Monarch faced. Morgana concludes that this isn't meant to keep intruders out, but instead to force the Monarch to stay inside, reminding them of their failures to "persuade" them to keep going with their use of the EMMA app.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: All of them have very high popularity, to the point of fervor. However, they only retain their influence inside the area where their Jails are overlaid at. Invoked, as they deliberately and artificially create the popularity themselves in order to gain or regain senses of self-confidence and to exact revenge against people that they have grievances with.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Unlike the Palace rulers, they are obviously victims of abuse or injustice and in comparison, their crimes are largely petty (making people spend their savings, demanding mindless adoration and praise; compared to sexual assault, organised crime, sex trafficking, and murder) and most of their outlandishly ridiculous behavior was because EMMA brainwashes them herself. It still doesn't merit their mind-controlling people to gain fame and doing stuff that their oppressors did to them.
  • Who's Laughing Now?: The first thing that every Monarch does with their newfound power is ruining those who oppressed them, real or imagined.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Unlike most of the Persona 5 Palace rulers, the Jail Monarchs were people who went through horrible trauma and injustice that led them to abuse EMMA for their own gain.
  • Your Soul Is Mine!: When people enter a Monarch's keyword on the EMMA app, their Shadow selves are transported to the Monarch's Jail, where their desires are stolen and used to build the Jail's power. As a result, victims become fanatically devoted to the Monarch in the real world. Only when a Monarch steps down are the desires freed and restored. Persona users' desires cannot be stolen because their Shadow selves have evolved into Personas. Jails are actually maintained by the EMMA app, so they are still intact even when the Monarch steps down. As a result, individual victims might have their obsession with a Monarch's works reignited, or entire populations can stay mesmerized even when a Monarch is deceased. Any of these behaviors can be stimulated by the Monarch's voice, which can be synthesized by EMMA. Only when EMMA/Demiurge is defeated do the Jails collapse and the captured desires are truly freed.

    Alice Hiiragi 

Alice Hiiragi

Voiced by: Ayane Sakura (Japanese), Melanie Minichino (English)
The Girl Lost in Wonderland
Click here to see Shadow Alice 
Click here to see Mad Rabbit Alice 
"But that doesn't matter now. With this power, I can have everything. Everything I've always wanted... Mine! And now, I'm going to make you mine... All mine!"

Sin: Luxuria (Lust)

An up-and-coming fashion designer in Shibuya with abnormally high popularity. While she makes a great public image at first impression, she's known for changing the hearts of men simply because they were in a romantic relationship so they go for her instead, and anyone who questions her after that will be physically attacked by her behind the scenes. Her fans are also not very far from starting street fights against people who don't like Alice, buying her merchandise until they go bankrupt, or firing people as soon as they dislike Alice.

Her Shadow is Mad Rabbit Alice, the Monarch of the Shibuya Jail, and it is overlaid on top of the 705 Mall with the Keyword "Wonderland." As the name implies, it is filled with references to Alice In Wonderland.

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Her Shadow has a Villainous Crush on Joker, but it's clear that she sees him as a prized possession rather than as a love interest. The real Alice doesn't really interact with him however, so she doesn't count.
  • Achilles' Heel: Mad Rabbit Alice is weak to both Agi and Garu skills.
  • Alice Allusion: Her name, design and stage props incorporate classic aspects from the Alice in Wonderland story, such as teapots, stopwatches, and playing card motifs, right down to Alice herself wearing a blue dress. Her Jail further enforces this, as the keyword needed to access her Jail with the EMMA app is "Wonderland", and also happens to feature even more references to the story, complete with Alice's Shadow transforming into a monster rabbit for her boss fight.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: Mad Rabbit Alice has bright pink skin.
  • Animal Motifs: Aside from her transformed state based on the White Rabbit, her Shadow's cane has a flamingo theme. The parallel is fairly striking as, despite their flamboyant colours and elegant poise, pink flamingos are also known for being highly-territorial and aggressive.
  • Ass Kicks You: In the first phase of her boss fight, she throws herself butt-first into you. In later parts, rainbow hearts come out of her butt to brainwash male party members.
  • Berserk Button: Because her biggest trauma is being bullied badly for having a crush and having him taken away from her afterwards, simply seeing a man who was a part of a married couple instantly triggers her psychopathic, violent behavior.
  • Broken Bird: In reality, Alice is an alumna of Shujin, and her time there was awful, as she was frequently bullied. She wanted to become a fashion designer after seeing a gorgeous dress so she could get out from her good-for-nothing self, until some jealous girls that stomped on her, took pics of her humiliation, and got her crush to reject her. It's implied that the same bully spread her school history on the internet to spite her a good amount of time later, which acted as the last straw that motivated her to use the EMMA app to create some semblance of self-ego and to take revenge against anyone who bullied her or just about any men that would remind her of the trauma.
  • Burlesque: The design of her Shadow invokes this.
  • Catchphrase: "I don't want toys that don't do as they're told." Notably, both her real self and her Shadow self say it.
  • Cane Fu: Her Shadow wields a long cane that she uses as a weapon in her basic form and her Mad Rabbit form, though she snaps it and discards it at the halfway point of the battle. The cane's flamingo figurehead is another allusion to Alice in Wonderland, specifically the game of croquet with the queen where flamingos were the mallets.
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: To Suguru Kamoshida. Kamoshida was an Evil Teacher who fell from grace as an Olympic athlete who used his reputation to torture and harass his students without any consequences. Alice, on the other hand, was bullied in high school and worked her way up to become a beloved idol, before the same bully leaked her past onto the Internet, pushing Alice to use EMMA to steal her tormentor's social circle, boyfriend, and everything else; from there, she went mad with power and became determined to make every man in the world her slave. Notably, Ann hates Kamoshida and spares him out of Cruel Mercy, but she sympathizes with Alice's initial desires despite not approving of her actions and wants her to redeem herself.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: She started going after any woman in a happy relationship, intending to split up happy couples and engineer break-ups. Alice did all this because she was bullied for having a crush and it's implied the same bully spread the word on the internet to tank her career. Even after making the girl who ruined her career pay, Alice keeps moving on to anyone who appears happy. After her change of heart, Alice admits she couldn't stop herself after getting Drunk on the Dark Side.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Exaggerated and played for drama. Alice ruined the lives of her bullies after she found out what she could do with EMMA. However, after that happened, Alice moved on to anyone who was in a healthy relationship out of jealousy that they had what she was denied.
  • Dominatrix: She's basically looks and acts like this in the Metaverse and isn't short of doing this against anyone who had a relationship with in the real world; namely, she blatantly draws married men to her on camera and if anyone dares stop her by this point, she stomps on top of and takes pictures of them. This was because her biggest trauma is being treated like this by other girls in her school and then having her boyfriend taken away as well.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: Some of her lovestruck prisoners are female.
  • Evil Counterpart: Alice is ultimately one to Ann. Like Ann, Alice was the victim of bullying and Slut-Shaming throughout her school life. Though unlike Ann, Alice never managed to have a friend like Shiho who pulled her from complete isolation. After gaining the power from EMMA to steal desires, she first gets back at her former bullies before using her powers to further her career.
  • Evil Diva: Save for her clothes, she's also an Idol whose debut single, "Macaron Cannon" has hit off the singles charts. Unlike most cases however, her music isn't mesmerizing; she's blatantly going around and mesmerizing people with EMMA's power.
  • Eyes Do Not Belong There: Her Shadow has two giant eyes in her hair as well as a pair of bracelets and heels that have bows decorated with an eye in the center attached to them.
  • Fan Disservice: The cutscene where she transforms into her One-Winged Angel form has a shot of her shaking her butt at the camera, except said scene also shows that her tail has a mouth reminiscent of the Hablerie enemies from Persona 4. Her design is also a Stripperiffic bunny girl, but with major Facial Horror.
  • Fanservice: On the other hand, her Shadow form before that point is a straight-up dominatrix — aside from her yellow eyes and her creepy hair decoration, she would not look out of place in a raunchy cabaret.
  • Fashion Designer: Her main occupation is to design trendy clothes, although they often come up as eccentric. When she took control of Shibuya with EMMA, whole stocks of the clothes she designed can sell out entirely within a matter of ten minutes.
  • Female Misogynist: Alice shows shades of this. Due to being a victim of Slut-Shaming in school, Alice specifically goes out of her way to break up happy couples to hurt women she's envious of. Even her boss fight sees her specifically insulting Ann for her appearance.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • When Alice is confirmed to have a Jail and Ann, Joker, and Morgana goes to a talk show to investigate if she is actually distorted, she initially doesn't really act that out there until the male host begins to talk about her crush, where she seemingly just bricks and the male host fervently confesses to her, much to everyone's disbelief. This is followed by what is essentially a 20-year old woman physically attacking her manager in a rather public hallway, something that not even Kamoshida or Madarame would do in such a blatant fashion. The whole thing is extremely uncanny and uncomfortable to watch, making clear that this is an EMMA-induced Distortion and most certainly not coming from Alice proper.
    • Furthermore, when the party investigates Alice's jail, Ann makes note that she has supposedly no reason to bolster her popularity with EMMA considering that she's already an attractive person with full potential to be an actually popular fashion model. As it turns out, she has other reasons to...
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: A young woman who used to be an introverted and heavily bullied school girl mesmerized a huge chunk of Shibuya's populace on a scale rivalling that of the God of Control.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Because she was bullied for having a crush, she would basically lash out at anyone with a romantic relationship by changing their hearts so they break up and go after her instead. She admits as much during her change of heart on TV, saying that she broke up couples because she couldn't stand to see happy women.
  • Hair-Raising Hare: Mad Rabbit Alice is a monstrous bunny girl that is around quadruple of Joker's height and is dressed in a gaudy-looking Burlesque outfit. She also serves at the first boss of the game.
  • Harem Seeker: She wants to use her Jail to make every man in Shibuya fall in love with her. Deconstructed, however, in that she doesn't actually want them for sex, but to show up every woman in Shibuya, who she thinks are collectively a Girl Posse out for her blood.
  • Height Angst: Implied; her human self is fairly short while her Shadow is a Statuesque Stunner in heels, and always seen in angles that make her taller than everyone.
  • Hidden Depths: Once the word of her trauma gets out, her despicable behavior makes a lot more sense. She's effectively replicating the bullying caused by her Alpha Bitch students in the public.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: She flirts with Joker and calls him cute when he's at her mercy, offering to make him her boyfriend. She orders him to be thrown into a cell early on, and when he escapes, this leads to her liking him because of how he continues to defy her expectations, unlike all of the other men who instantly fall at her feet.
  • I Love You Because I Can't Control You: Alice shows interest in Joker when she sees that he's the only man who isn't instantly charmed by her. Both as her normal and Shadow self, she calls him "cool", and after noticing how much progress Joker has made with infiltrating her cage, she declares that she "finally has something she wants." When the Phantom Thieves confront her, she vows to make Joker hers. During the boss battle, Alice will also tease Ann by asking her who she has a crush on, and saying that she herself would go for Joker out of all of them. However, after her heart has been changed, Alice doesn't actively pursue that interest.
  • Informed Attractiveness: Even if not using the EMMA app, Alice is stated by both Ryuji and Ann to be a rather pretty-looking woman. In fact, when dismantling the security systems in her Jail, Ann was even puzzled why she even needed the EMMA application to boost her popularity to uncanny levels in the first place.
  • Irrational Hatred: Alice instantly develops a hatred of Ann when Alice finds out that Ann is a fashion model, accusing her of being an Alpha Bitch of the sort that made Alice's life miserable. Not only is Ann no such thing — Ann was herself a victim of Slut-Shaming at Shujin Academy — but Ann's repeated insistence that she's not continues to fall on deaf ears for Alice. It's only after Alice is defeated that she finally listens.
  • Lust: Her sin and motif. While unlike Kamoshida she most definitely isn't a sexual predator nor is she anywhere as morally repugnant, she's known as an Attention Whore for stealing the hearts of married/engaged men, using the Jail function so they break up with their partner and go after her instead, representing the "desire" aspect (in this case, revenge) rather then the carnal one Kamoshida represented. She's also guilty of the domination aspect as well, beating up men in the same way the girls at her school did to her.
  • Meaningful Name: Her surname, Hiiragi means "holly flowers", and in Hanakotoba, it represents protection. Effectively, she is protecting herself with an illusion.
  • Misplaced Retribution: Upon meeting Ann, she immediately decides that since Ann is a beautiful fashion model, she has to be the same kind of Alpha Bitch that made her life a living hell, and she spends a lot of her boss fight berating her for judging Alice's own actions in order to get friends. Not only does Ann understand perfectly well because of what Kamoshida did, Ann wasn't actually all that popular in school, ostracised for looking foreign and, funnily enough, because other girls judged her on sight as stuck up and cruel just because she was pretty.
  • Mouth Stitched Shut: When she transforms into Mad Rabbit Alice, the corners of her mouth are stitched shut. Despite this, she is still able to talk.
  • Mythology Gag: Mad Rabbit Alice is more or less a gender-flipped version of Kamoshidaman's One-Winged Angel form, with both of them being rabbit-themed Starter Villains of their respective games. Additionally, much like the real Kamoshida, the Starter Villain of Persona 5, she is themed with the sin of lust and has ties to Shujin Academy, although Alice's actions are nowhere near as morally repugnant as Kamoshida's. Coincidentally, all three of these also share some sort of connection to girls that were subjected to extreme bullying.
  • The Napoleon: The real-world Alice is very short (for her age) and a head shorter than Joker, but because of EMMA's powers, she is a very dangerous public hazard who subconsciously brainwashes people who remind her of her school life and attack/humiliate others physically in the public.
  • Never Be Hurt Again: After her defeat, Alice mentions that her true motivation to steal desires was so that she could never be a victim again.
  • Never My Fault: During the confrontation with Mad Rabbit Alice, Ann calls out Alice for stomping all over innocent people. Alice's response is "the men came after me on their own." Ann doesn't buy it, telling Alice that it's just because Alice changed their hearts with EMMA.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Not only had the Phantom Thieves not been in action for months, they also had no idea that there was a Change of Heart epidemic happening all over Japan, much less in nearby Shibuya. In addition, it was only by pure chance that they got involved in the plot at all, as three of them were merely out to by camping supplies, and happened to be in the area during a public appearance. Alice giving her EMMA keyword to Joker is what properly reassembles the Phantom Thieves into action and put a hole into the Big Bad's plan.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Alice's design appears to be heavily based on the style of model and pop idol Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, down to the use of random objects as headpieces, a heavy emphasis on eye motifs and the penchant for contrasting cute and creepy imagery; even their silhouettes are similar, with Alice wearing wigs in an identical shape and large, frilly lolita-type dresses.
  • Obliviously Evil: As shown by her shocked reaction to being given a Phantom Thief card, on some level Alice doesn't realize her bullying behavior is that bad.
  • Older Than They Look: Despite her short stature and overall appearance making her pass for a 15 or 16-year-old, she actually graduated from Shujin before Ryuji, Ann, or Joker enrolled and likely even prior to Makoto becoming student council president, putting her in the 20 to 21-year-old range.
  • Psycho Ex-Girlfriend: She used to have a boyfriend during her time at Shujin, but that was taken from her once a few jealous girls found that out and bullied her mercilessly under the premise that she's stringing along men. This became the motive for her using EMMA so she can draw men from Shibuya to her.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: The method that she lashes out at her managers is the same as how she was bullied at school: publicly humiliating them and treating them like animals.
  • Psychotic Smirk: Flashes these whenever she makes someone humiliate themselves in public.
  • Relationship Sabotage: Goes around doing this a lot, basically making a big chunk of men in Shibuya fall for her to the point that they break up marriages, fire people who aren't her fans or even attack anyone who questions them.
  • Running on All Fours: During the second phase of her boss fight, she runs on all four limbs like a rabbit, making her faster and harder to dodge.
  • Shadow Archetype:
    • She's one to Ann. While both girls are Shujin alumnaes who experienced school bullying and entered the fashion industry to find a better life for themselves, Ann chose to strike back only against those who deserve it, particularly the one who wronged her and her friend. In contrast, Alice took things a step further by unleashing her anger to the rest of the public and anyone who might remind her of her horrid past.
    • She's also one to Sumire. Both of them have fairy tale motifs (Alice in Wonderland and Cinderella) and are effectively living in an illusion with similar mechanics. Again, Sumire's anger is directed on herself, while Alice directs her anger to the public.
    • Going across games, she's essentially a villainous Rise Kujikawa. They even have similar backstories, having both been bullied in school before becoming popular idols. Her "Feast Your Eyes" attack is even a direct reference to Shadow Rise, only she is vulnerable to a specific form of attack.
  • Shrinking Violet: She used to be this until she came across a gorgeous dress one day.
  • Slut-Shaming: Was subject to this not long before because of an incident in her high school, where other girls bullied her for allegedly trying to seduce the boys there. What actually happened is that a popular guy the local Alpha Bitch had her eye on confessed to Alice and she had her Girl Posse bully her for it.
  • Starter Villain: She is the first Monarch that the Thieves go against in this game.
  • Stepford Smiler: In public, she acts like a cute and happy-go-lucky idol, but becomes highly abrasive and violent behind the scenes. She actually isn't happy about the situation she was in. She used to be quite depressed because she was bullied in Shujin for having a crush then having said crush taken away from her, even going as far as distancing herself from remembering her past as much as possible.
  • Tarot Motifs: Reversed Lovers. The Lovers represents forming harmonious, loving relationships with others. Alice uses the power EMMA gives her to force large numbers of people to love and submit to her and to ruin the relationships of others.
  • Turns Red: She becomes much more aggressive when down to half health in her boss fight. In addition to assuming a Primal Stance, she also attacks much more aggressively, gets a new spin move, and her movements much quicker.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Her backstory implies that despite being a Shrinking Violet, she was deep down a nice person, as she wanted to become a fashion designer in order to be a light of hope for people who suffered like her. By the time the game starts, she's so embittered about her humiliation that all she cares about is payback and lost sight of her noble intentions.
  • Vengeance Feels Empty: After defeating her in the Metaverse, Alice tells the Phantom Thieves that after she first used EMMA's Jail function to exact revenge on the school bully who leaked her school record to destroy her upstart career by stealing the hearts of her partners and friends, deep down, she still felt empty and unsatisfied, causing her to change the heart of every other man in Shibuya just to show the other girl who is the popular one.
  • Villainous Breakdown: At half HP, she snaps her cane and starts attacking in a beast-like way while going into an Unstoppable Rage. She also accuses the Thieves of trying to steal away her happiness, blaming Ann in particular for trying to ruin her life.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Whereas Natsume and Hyodo's reputations are not badly damaged and they are able to move on with their lives to a certain degree, nothing is mentioned about Alice's fate after she has a change of heart other than her career as an idol is over.
  • Who's Laughing Now?: She used to not have many friends and was bullied by her class over a boy who was attracted by her. After being brainwashed by EMMA, she's now a violent Womanchild out on a rampage.
  • Womanchild: She acts in a very cutesy, childish way even when she's trying to be nice, when mean she becomes an immature brat. Her Shadow is an outright Psychopathic Manchild.

    Ango Natsume 

Ango Natsume

Voiced by: Daisuke Kishio (Japanese), Zach Aguilar (English)
The Prince of Nightmares
Click here to see Shadow Natsume 
Click here to see Nightmare Dragon Ango 
"This world belongs to me and me alone. It takes shape solely according to my design. Here, the Overlord rains justice upon the holier-than-thou heroes who would dare brand him as evil. Here, you are nothing more than flies to be swatted."

Sin: Irritum/Avaritia (Vanity/Greed)

An author from Sendai, whose recent book, Prince of Nightmares sold over one million copies. Despite this success, his book is only popular in Sendai, and isn't that popular elsewhere in Japan. His book is said to be so good that it motivated people to write and many of his fervent fans bought many, sometimes up to 100 copies of his book. Much like Alice before, his fanbase is also highly unethical, to the point of defiling the Masamune statue with book advertisements, buying the book with loaned money or starting street fights against anyone who would dress like the characters from his book. In reality, a close inspection on the book reveals that it's actually a heavily plagiarized word salad.

His Shadow is Nightmare Dragon Ango, Monarch of the Sendai Jail. His jail resembles the castle in his book, with him, the Demon King being the protagonist, his publishers being his personal bodyguards and the Hero being the villain. It is overlaid on top of the PORTO bookstore, where his stall is in and its keyword is "Prince of Nightmares".

  • Achilles' Heel: Nightmare Dragon Ango is weak to Ice and Bless skills.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: After he is defeated, Shadow Natsume begs the Phantom Thieves for mercy and is willing to let them rule the one half of his world.
  • At Least I Admit It: What he feels differentiates him from Madarame; he is a poor writer and he knows it, he actually respects good writers and he doesn't look down on his fans for being interested in things that he knows sell well. The Phantom Thieves admit that while this does make him less of a terror to those close to him, he's still a plagiarist.
  • Berserk Button: It is implied to be cosplayers, as the game mentions people being beaten up for being dressed like his characters and the assaulters getting congratulated.
  • Bling of War: His Shadow's boss form wears golden armor embedded with gems. During the battle, his armor falls off the closer he is to being defeated.
  • Captain Ersatz: A direct one to The Dragonlord, appearing initially as a twin-horned evil sorcerer in a full-body, high-collar cloak, whose "final form"note  is a towering purple dragon with a horn jutting from the nose. Additionally, though it's not Dragon Quest I, he employs a reactive full-party debuff in battle, something the series's final bosses become well-known for and entered the genre with Dragon Quest III. To top it all off, when beaten, he offers the Phantom Thieves half the world in pleading for mercy. The similarities between the two are actually deliberate, considering his whole point is that he blatantly copy-and-pastes lines from video games and anime for his novel.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Why his Shadow manifests as a demon king and why said demon king was the protagonist of his novel; he knows perfectly well he's a plagiarist and this isn't a good thing, but he glories in how he's able to finally get one over on his corrupt editors rather than feel ashamed for how he doesn't measure up as a writer.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: His first scene is making rather unsubtle come-ons to Haru, but after she turns him down he shrugs it off without issue and his Jail shows he doesn't have problems with women saying no.
  • Cliché Storm: invokedInvoked. In-universe, he's cribbed most of the details from his best-selling book from other sources such as an anime he saw two years ago and another author's novels. Prince of Nightmares still sells in spite of this, with no one noticing, due to the buyers being victims of his Jail. In his Jail, there's a ton of anime clichés that get lampshaded by the Phantom Thieves, showing how unoriginal his ideas truly are. Natsume justifies this by saying he doesn't care, because he's finally getting one over on the editors who told him that he'd never be a success.
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: To Ichiryusai Madarame. In the original game, Madarame was a Manipulative Bastard who secretly viewed art as pointless and only did things to make money, stealing acclaim from his students for their talent because he couldn't be bothered to create something himself while hiding behind a Faux Affably Evil façade. By contrast, Ango is an actually honest Large Ham who genuinely loves writing and is trying to overcome his lack of personal talent. Notably, while Madarame pretends to be a Starving Artist, when in reality he happily freeloads off a mistress, Ango is driven by a rabid fear of becoming one again after he realized he was being scammed by his publisher.
  • Draconic Humanoid: His Shadow's boss form takes the form of a winged dragon man in golden armor. In actuality, the "gold" is just to cover up the grey scales and wings made of paper.
  • Elite Four: Played for laughs. His Jail is guarded by the Fearsome Four, who take the form of Ango's hype group you saw at the party when the Thieves went for Ango's keyword. They are Dorma, a Jack-o-Lantern, Ante, a Lamia, Kuhga, an Orthus, and Betro, an Eligor.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Downplayed. Though his sincerity is debatable (given that he's using EMMA solely to gain profit and wants the attention), he does seem surprised and admonishes his fans' behavior for putting posters over a historical statue in their fever, and (halfheartedly) tells them they don't need to buy so many copies of one book.
  • Greed: His secondary sin and motif. His whole motive revolves on getting the source of cash to him instead of his publishers who tried to fleece him for their profit, as well as the attention. This synergizes with his primary sin/motif of vanity, as like Madarame, he steals the works of others for his own self gain, but has a fragile ego and terrible talent underneath all his Large Ham bluster.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works: One of his greatest sources of frustration is despite him genuinely working himself to the bone researching and working on his craft, he just couldn't put out anything decent. It led to him giving up even trying and deciding to just steal other people's work or rely on lazy clichés, if just to spite his greedy editors.
  • High Hopes, Zero Talent: While he's a genuinely enthusiastic writer, Natsume has little in the way of natural talent and relies overmuch on writing guides, cribs from anime, and can't create a coherent plot to save his life. Natsume's discovery that his editors were planning to market his book without believing in him as a writer genuinely hurt him; not so much because they had little faith in Natsume, but because they weren't decent enough to offer him honest feedback to improve his work. After his change of heart, Natsume is encouraged by Yusuke (both in the Metaverse and in the real world) to start from the bottom and truly make a work he can be proud of on his own merits.
  • Horns of Villainy: His Shadow form has horns as part of his demon overlord appearance, and serve as his "crown", which he breaks the top halves off when he repents.
  • Hypocrite: While he has the guts to call out Madarame's plagiarism, his very own book is made out of sentences that are copied from numerous other fictitious works. He does realize he is one, which does make him different from Madarame.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: It turns out he had a grandfather who can actually write very well, but Ango cannot, even though he kept trying to improve. His publisher uses this to deceive customers and fleece him for money, something that resulted in him inflicting himself with distortions.
  • Ironic Name: His name is a combination of Japanese novelists Ango Sakaguchi and Soseki Natsume, two legendary writers considered the best of their craft in their home country. Natsume, needless to say, is not one of those people.
  • Jerkass: Unlike Madarame, who at least had some emotional investment in Yusuke prior to the events of the original game (even if it's for less than noble reasons), Ango is rather mean-spirited to the point of being outraged over Yusuke giving him a verbal bitch slap to the face regarding the "Sayuri" painting. Downplayed, in that the party actually likes him a bit more than Madarame for this, as he is bluntly honest about his own faults and isn't manipulative.
  • Large Ham: Even though his human self is a massive show-off and overly dramatic, his Shadow takes this up a notch.
  • Laughably Evil:
    • His Shadow is trying so hard to be a Large Ham Evil Overlord that he becomes hilarious.
    • Unlike Madarame's horrifying exploitation of his pupils, Natsume's plagiarism, shown through his cliche storm of a Jail comes across as entertaining.
  • The Man Behind the Curtain: Shadow Natsume wears a dreadful outfit befitting a Demon King. It turns out that is simply a cardboard cutout and his true self is wearing nothing but his boxers, representing his shallow ego.
  • Maou the Demon King: The protagonist of his "Prince of Nightmares" book is modeled after the Demon King trope and most of the tropes associated with the archetype. In the Metaverse, Shadow Natsume takes the role of Demon King.
  • Naked People Are Funny: The gold on his monster form is fake, hiding the wings of paper and grey scales. Likewise, the reason why his Shadow never seems to be moving is that it's a cardboard cutout, and is only in his boxers, all of which represents his lack of creativity and fragile ego.
  • Plagiarism in Fiction: In reality, Prince of Nightmares is just built from numerous sentences and scripts from other bookwork, including an anime from two years ago. His Jail even includes numerous anime clichés, to the point that the Phantom Thieves themselves note that it's a Cliché Storm of tropes they've seen a hundred times.invoked
  • Scaled Up: When his Shadow transforms, it becomes a dragon clad in (at first) gleaming armour.
  • Shadow Archetype:
    • He's one to Yusuke. While Yusuke is being fleeced on legitimate artwork and is forced to rebel against his master regardless of how well he seemingly treated him before realizing that he is being manipulated, Ango is being fleeced out of plagiarized work by his publishers because of his lack of skill and to exploit his grandfather's name, and uses the EMMA app to draw the source of income to him instead.
    • He's also one to Sumire just like Alice, albeit in a different way. He had a family member who is superior to him in terms of his domain, and the circumstance that he and his fans are trapped in an illusion is also similar. Rather than manifesting the jealousy as delusional thoughts, however, he manifests it through blatant plagiarism.
  • Shirtless Scene: Once Shadow Dragon Natsume at one-fourth health, his armor completely breaks off and reveals a pair of red shorts. Once he's finally defeated, only his red shorts remain and his Demon King clothing reveals itself to be cardboard, and he's actually topless. He is, in effect, wearing the Emperor's New Clothes, representing how vulnerable and weak he truly is at his core without the praise of others propping him up.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Builds himself up as a master author, and his Shadow hypes himself up as an Evil Overlord protagonist, but in actuality, he's a pathetic man who was used by his publishers for looks and was never acknowledged beyond being "grandson of Sogo Natsume".
  • Stock Light-Novel Hero: Invoked, as part of the Cliché Storm of his Jail. According to his novel, the Prince of Nightmares (the form his Shadow takes) was an ordinary Muggle who was pulled into a fantasy world and gained the powers of an Evil Overlord, including the ability to turn into a dragon. The novel's "plot" involves him constantly outsmarting and defeating the "chosen heroes" sent to fight him.
  • Tarot Motifs: Reversed Emperor. The upright Emperor represents authority and control over the situation. Natsume was strung along by his authors and manipulated to get them money. His Shadow also takes the form of a tyrant that Ryuji notes is destined to fall by the rules of fantasy.
  • Token Evil Teammate: More like "Token Jerkass Teammate", but he's the only Jail Monarch who is doing something massively unethical solely for selfish reasons. It's also worth noting that he only used his power to become popular and successful unlike Alice and Hyodo who have vendettas in mind, and he doesn't display the same indignant freakouts as those two did. He's also not that bad of a guy once he's been humbled.
  • Villain Has a Point: When personally meeting him during the celebration for selling Prince of Nightmares, Natsume disses Madarame's "Sayuri" as "garbage," which angers Yusuke. Obviously, Natsume was never aware of Yusuke's dead mother being the true creator of that painting because… almost no one else was made aware of its true origins, but the work of a plagiarist like Madarame has no value now that he's been exposed. When Yusuke tells him the truth, Ango is left speechless.
  • Villain Protagonist: In-Universe, he sees himself as one, represented in his book and his Jail, and as shown above in Card-Carrying Villain, is the reason why his Shadow takes the form of his main character of the "Prince of Nightmares".
  • Who's Laughing Now?: His editors don't take him seriously because of his dull and incoherent writing skills, and they merely kept him around for the sake of using him as a front to deceive people. After he was brainwashed by EMMA, he starts turning them into his loyal associates and brainwashes the public so everything about him becomes uncannily popular.

    Mariko Hyodo 

Mariko Hyodo

Voiced by: Kyoko Terase (Japanese), Kim Rhodes (English)
Gluttonous Empress of the Snow White City
Click here to see Shadow Hyodo 
Click here to see Snow Empress Mariko 
"I will wring out every last ounce of corruption from my staff by working them into the ground! I'll silence all charlatans who betray me! And I will consume every last vote in the city, whether people agree with me or not!"

Sin: Gula (Gluttony)

A politician running for mayor in Sapporo, who knew Kunikazu Okumura in the past because they were trade partners. Her speeches had became a sensation in her prefecture, but is shown to take her anger out on her civil wards workers for the sake of making Sapporo "spotless", not that the people seem to care.

Her Shadow is Snow Empress Mariko, the Monarch of the Sapporo Jail. Her Jail turns Sapporo into a frozen wasteland and is overlaid on top of the Mayor's residence. Its Keyword is "Snow City".

  • Achilles' Heel: Snow Empress Mariko is weak to Psy and Curse skills. In battle, she may also cast Rage on herself, which makes her more susceptible to Psy due to technical damage. Haru specializes in using the former, making her well-suited for subduing Mariko.
  • Adipose Rex: Her Shadow is a rare female version of this trope. When the party first encounters her in the Jail, she's greedily eating her way through several large meals before transforming to attack them, and then she eats the whole dining table as well.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Haru calls her "Mari-san" because of how close they were when Haru was a child.
  • Anti-Villain: Mariko started stealing desires to further her political career, with the intention of cleaning up the corruption in politics. She only became a Monarch in the first place because of a scandal her underlings created which they threatened to pin on her. The Phantom Thieves end up reluctant to even face Mariko's Shadow and it takes Zenkichi calling them out to work up their resolve.
  • The Atoner: Mariko feels awful about the nine-year-old girl's death in the ice sculpture accident, and is absolutely furious that her fellow senator used it as an excuse to take power from her while disregarding the child's life. She uses the EMMA app to regain power and ensure that nothing like that happens again and to make up for her oversight, not realizing her actions are causing more harm now than before.
  • Bad Boss: She works all of her civil wards to extreme conditions to make her people happy.
  • Belly Mouth: When transformed, her Shadow has a second face on her stomach.
  • Berserk Button: Civil Wards. She might act nice (and likely genuinely is) most of the time but as soon as a Civil Ward goes next to her she will start lambasting them with ridiculous works and snap if they don't comply.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Played with. The Phantom Thieves notice that she seems "two-faced" after witnessing her being affectionate to Haru after abusing one of her staff (unaware that Haru was watching the latter). However, after Haru catches her forcing a sick employee to work, and calls her out on it, Mariko stands by her decision, but doesn't drop her affection for Haru. As the party later finds out, just like Alice before this is actually an EMMA-inflicted abnormality, and not anything coming from Hyodo herself.
  • Breath Weapon: One of her Shadow's attacks has her exhale a mist of freezing cold ice crystals.
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: She's this to Kunikazu Okumura. Both of them are major targets in the game that happened to be acquaintances of Haru, and both Hyodo and Okumura are close friends. However, while Hyodo is heavily disheartened by even one scandal that she only had minor involvement and the blame fully directed against her, Okumura does not care about how many scandals he has within his company. While Hyodo overworks her wards to make people happy, Okumura overworks everyone underneath him for his own gain. Furthermore, while Hyodo still cares for Haru even after using EMMA's salvation as Haru managed to stop her from berating a civil ward, Okumura had stopped caring about Haru long before the events of Persona 5, seeing her as only a political pawn by the point of her arc in the game.
  • Control Freak: Her issue is that she's mean and unreasonable to her staff out of paranoia.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Or rather just regular "memory". If you have finished Persona 5 Royal yet not played the original Persona 5 and moved onto Strikers, you can be forgiven if you thought bringing Ann into Hyodo's boss fight would help with scoring Technical damage without solely relying on Psychokinesis skills, as after a reading a book in that game, Fire Skills will then deal Technical damage to Shadows afflicted with Rage. Alas, Strikers follows the original P5 technical chart.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: She's the lead that Zenkichi is looking into at the beginning of the game, and she's an influential politician much like Shido. She is also the first Jail Monarch who has effectively used the Jail to take direct legal control of the whole city instead of just enriching her self esteem or pockets. Even though she is not actually involved in the Jails creation, she is the last of the unrelated Arc Villains before Madicce takes the stage in the narrative for the next three Jails.
  • Dub Name Change: Her Shadow Boss name was changed from Snow White to Snow Empress.
  • Eaten Alive: Her Shadow can devour one of the Phantom Thieves alive, forcing the party to go without one member unless they can make her cough them up by dropping a chandelier on her, or hitting her with an All-Out-Attack after breaking her Stagger bar should you run out of chandeliers.
  • Establishing Character Moment: When the Phantom Thieves see her in person, she berates a staffer for a single wilted flower, then acts affectionate and motherly when she recognizes Haru.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: While not actually evil per se, she has a close bond to Haru thanks to their trade partner relationship with Okumura. Before Okumura got distorted by his desire for power, the three used to play golf together and she would play with Haru when Okumura was busy.
  • Evil Is Deathly Cold: Her frozen jail represents a pure, white Sapporo, with no blemishes or chaos.
  • Fallen Hero: Mariko used to be a kind and caring politician who actually worked for the people. However, she was scapegoated for an incident where a kid was killed under a collapsing ice sculpture, something that a fellow senator used to take power for himself. Enraged at being fully blamed, she stopped caring about her employees and became blinded by her determination to make Sapporo perfect.
  • Fat Bastard: Her Shadow is morbidly obese and is constantly in a frenzied mood before being defeated. In contrast, her human self is quite skinny. This is to emphasize her view on "eat or be eaten" in regards to corrupt politicians, her desire to obtain votes for reelection, and her insatiable desire for a clean Sapporo.
  • First-Name Basis: She calls Haru "Haru-chan," while Haru calls Mariko by an abbreviated version of her first name.
  • Foreshadowing: Just like Alice before, Hyodo's Distortions are highly eccentric. She would act very kind for most of the time only to suddenly snap and yell at her workers, forcing them to do ridiculous work for her. The works she issues are also very comical and sound absolutely nothing like a distinguished politician would issue anyone to do. As the party later finds out, EMMA actively alters the Monarch's behavior in the real world to prevent them from moving on from their traumas.
  • Friend to All Children: Despite her being a Bad Boss who will turn in those who oppose or disobey her, she seems to have soft spot for children. She's very affectionate towards Haru when they reunite years later, is kindly to the latter's friends, and the whole reason she became corrupted was to atone for a young girl's death during her initial tenure as mayor, vowing to end all corruption in Sapporo.
  • Gem Tissue: Her Shadow has two diamonds on her face that resemble moles.
  • An Ice Person: Her Shadow and Jail are this, with the Shadow resembling a fat version of the White Witch from Narnia.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: She has a close relationship with Haru, a girl young enough to be her daughter.
  • It's All My Fault: Blames herself for the snow sculpture accident that caused a child to die. It's what made her use the EMMA application to make sure she gets reelected.
  • Level Ate: Her Jail is littered with various kinds of frozen food, and the castle she resides in has a massive fork and a knife decorating it. The "food" is symbolism for the ballot votes and popularity she yearns for to take her power back.
  • Logical Weakness: Snow Empress Mariko's weakness to Curse attacks makes sense given her obsession with making Sapporo "pure white", while the darkness and ooze-themed Curse spells run counter to that.
  • Meaningful Name: "Hyo" means "ice".
  • Neat Freak: She's obsessed with the cleanliness of Sapporo, and threatens to fire workers over minor infractions such as wilted flowers or handrails with dust on them. Considering that she's driven by the guilt of letting a child die in a freak accident due to an oversight on her part, EMMA might actually have been distorting her with some extreme form of Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder.
  • Parental Substitute: To Haru, which is part of why Haru gets so driven to save her, as she knows Mariko is normally a Reasonable Authority Figure and her sudden Jerkass turn is a sign she's been corrupted.
  • Red Herring: Zenkichi has her as his primary suspect of the Change of Heart epidemic at the beginning of the game and insists on getting the Thieves to Sapporo by the time she comes back into the city. She is just a normal Jail Monarch, and Zenkichi discovers that her phone had evidence of being bugged.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Despite being a prominent figure in Haru's childhood, Hyodo was never once mentioned by her at any point in the original Persona 5. Haru justifies it by saying she actively repressed her childhood memories to cope with her father's death, and they only returned to her once she came face-to-face with Hyodo herself.
  • The Scapegoat: Downplayed. She's being fully blamed for the death of a child because of a collapsing ice structure. Mariko was blackmailed to keep quiet with the threat of stepping down as mayor and letting the men responsible take power, something that caused her to take revenge using the EMMA app to forcefully keep the mayoral seat. In reality, both sides are responsible because, while her underlings were the ones who employed a faulty contractor to make the sculpture on the cheap, she had oversight and officially sanctioned it by mistake. Nonetheless, she feels awful to have had a role in the accident, which was part of the reason she tried to use EMMA for revenge, and promptly sets to properly mourning the child's death after her change of heart.
  • Stepford Smiler: Hyodo seems like a bright and charismatic politician who sports bright smiles at first glance. While she might be before that incident, in reality, she's actually quite furious right at the time you first met her and is ready to turn on anyone who might end up like the last mayor at any time.
  • Tarot Motifs: Reversed Empress. The Empress is something of a mother figure, nurturing and protecting those in her protection. Mariko instead works her staff to the bone and holds all of them in contempt.
  • Token Good Teammate: While she's just as angry and revenge-bent as the other Monarchs, her use of EMMA app is because she wants to make Sapporo a better place, rather than self-validation or taking out her frustrations on every single Sapporo citizens. She only needs the citizens to vote for her and is completely honest about wanting to improve the city, unlike Alice or Ango who force their victims to buy their merchandise to the point of bankruptcy. Also, a part of her motivation stems from genuine guilt instead of solely anger or self-righteousness. Case in point, after she surrenders and the people are no longer brainwashed, several citizens are willing to forgive her and point out how she truly cared for the city. Even the mother of the deceased girl demands Mariko run for re-election to honor her daughter because she knows Hyodo is the person Sapporo needs as its mayor to protect it.
  • Villainous Glutton: Her sin and motif. She's gluttonous in an abstract manner for feasting on ballot votes and popularity in a desperate attempt to take her power back; likewise, her Shadow is morbidly obese and is constantly in a frenzied mood for food. She's also obsessed with making sure Sapporo is "pure white", overworking the civil wards to the point of exhaustion.
  • Villainy-Free Villain: While Alice and Natsume had their sympathetic motives, they still took financial advantage of their fans who they stole desires from. Mariko by comparison simply used stolen desires to garner up votes for her political career and cover up a scandal that she was not actually directly responsible for. Her real crime that implicated her for the Phantom Thieves was not any actual corruption on her part, but the fact that she was a Bad Boss to her staff. Reflecting this, Mariko's Shadow never actually directly confronts or impedes the Phantom Thieves until the actual boss fight.
  • Waddling Head: Her Shadow's boss form combines this with a Belly Mouth, as the "waddling head" is actually her body bloated to an extreme with a face on her stomach.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Her goal in stealing Desires and trying to win re-election as mayor is to try and stamp out corruption within the political staff of Sapporo. While the Phantom Thieves understand where she's coming from, they ultimately conclude that they can't allow her to manipulate people's hearts and decide to stop her.

    Monarch of Ruin (Unmarked Spoilers) 

Shuzo Ubukata

"When the Penitentiary system is complete, the concept of suffering will be dead to all mankind! Now, let us rejoice and welcome the new age of humanity! EMMA shall be our guide into this promised land!"

Sin: Acedia (Sloth)

An AI genius from Okinawa who ruled the Jail formed over it. Konoe used him as a guinea pig for creating the Jail system. He and his entire population became insane afterward and he committed suicide when Konoe told him to hand out his desires, which functions like a Calling Card to him. His Jail still remains despite his death and takes the form of an abandoned laboratory. Its Keyword is "Operation Oraculi", the internal name of the Jail operation. His death, once it came to light, was blamed on the Phantom Thieves as one of the excuses Konoe uses for his deluded crusade of justice.

  • Driven to Suicide: He killed himself by jumping off a cliff in an extreme effort to ensure his Desire wasn’t taken, with Konoe telling him to give him his desires functioning as a calling card.
  • The Ghost: What he looks like is never shown anywhere on-screen. He's not even given a physical description after Zenkichi finds Ubukata's corpse.
  • It's All About Me: The Monarch distortion made Ubukata delude himself that he was saving humanity, even as his fellow scientists were telling him the EMMA project's goal was complete global subjugation by mass hypnosis. It wasn't until he realized that his desires were at risk just like all the others that he even began to care about the real effects of what was going on. Even after the horrors of everything started to sink in, he thought only about ending his own suffering and making sure his desire couldn't be taken, not even thinking to call off the project, free the locals, turn himself in, reveal the truth, or do anything that would be more conducive to actually stopping Konoe.
  • Knight of Cerebus: The Okinawa Jail and the tapes depicting Ubukata's Sanity Slippage mark a dark shift in the tone of the game. Like Okumura in the original game, the Thieves being framed for his death causes the villainous faction to start to hunt them down.
  • Mirthless Laughter: On the third tape, he starts with a dark chuckle about how things with the EMMA project have spiraled way out of his control.
  • Posthumous Character: He's long dead by the time the Thieves reach Okinawa.
  • Sanity Slippage: As shown in the tape recordings, he became increasingly deranged as the Jail test progressed, and eventually lost his mind entirely when Konoe simulated a calling card.
  • Sloth: His sin and motif, represented by how he believed that he was truly saving the world with EMMA while he's just been used as a pawn by Konoe to enslave humanity. This representing ignorance, including willful ignorance, as Ubukata refused to back out when his scientists warned him of what was happening. When he was asked to give out his Desires by Konoe, Ubukata realized that he'd been used. And since it was too far off for him to redeem himself, Ubukata committed suicide and left the population of Okinawa mesmerized, representing the cowardice aspects.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Despite the fact that he's dead before even being fought, Ubukata is the person who modified EMMA with the ability to change hearts by teaching EMMA cognitive psience.
  • Tarot Motifs: Reversed Magician, seen as a sign of failure or being in over your head. Ubukata certainly checks both boxes, as he realizes only too late that the EMMA project is coming for him next, and that he's failed to help humanity as he hoped he would.
  • The Unfought: Other than Akane, the Monarch of Ruin is the only Jail Monarch who isn't fought in the story due to the fact he killed himself. You are instead forced to fight a Lock Keeper sent by EMMA to capture Sophia.
  • Unwitting Pawn: In the end, he was nothing more than a lab rat for Konoe who truly believed that he could save humanity with EMMA. Once Konoe accidentally produced a Calling Card effect on him, he realized that he was nothing more than a toy and committed suicide.
  • Villainous Legacy: Despite his death, his Jail is still intact (enough) and his victims remain Brainwashed, which enables EMMA to make use of the victims for her own purposes.

    The Asset 

Akane Hasegawa

Voiced by: Naomi Ozora (Japanese), Colleen O'Shaughnessey (English)
The Counterfeit Phantom
Click here to see Shadow Akane 
"Shut up... Shut up, shut up, shut up!!! The Phantom Thieves would never spew such lies! They would be on my side! The real Phantom Thieves... would never hurt me... The real Phantom Thieves... are my friends!"

Sin: Ira (Wrath)

Daughter of Zenkichi Hasegawa who lives in Kyoto, and is a huge fan of the Phantom Thieves. She witnessed the death of her mother due to a traffic accident that occurred two years ago. The culprit is supposedly dead, although they left a suicide note saying that they did it.
After Zenkichi was arrested, the police emptied the Hasegawa Residence and she asked someone to "save her", only for the EMMA application to respond on its own, then propose Konoe use her to catch the Phantom Thieves, rendering her real self comatose and developing a shadow self manipulated by EMMA. Konoe then uses the application to fabricate a distress call so he may use Akane to change the Phantom Thieves' heart. Unlike most Jails, there is no central building or birdcage. Instead, Akane is directly confronted during the same exploration round. Its Keyword is "Phantom Thieves".

  • Adorably Precocious Child:
    • The Thieves note how she carries herself and her words in a very mature and adult-like manner for a middle-schooler, with Futaba even claiming she acts more mature than Ryuji. She even has a large following as a professional streamer for Phantom Thieves fans, and generates a decent income from it.
    • More tragically though, her tantrums and tirades against her father, despite being childish in attitude, also sound very adult-like and logical, which only serves to make her words cut even deeper.
  • Antagonistic Offspring: Akane acts like a Jerkass to Zenkichi because the police failed to investigate her mother's death. When she was brainwashed by EMMA, this becomes full-blown hostility. Zenkichi ends up coming into direct conflict with her by getting his own Persona during the Kyoto Jail heist, though they manage to overcome this antagonism and reconcile after her Shadow's defeat.
  • Anti-Villain: Of the Woobie Anti-Villain and Villain in Name Only type. Unlike the other Monarchs, Akane did not knowingly create a Jail for the sake of captivating the people of Kyoto. She's just a front for EMMA and Konoe to take out the Phantom Thieves and Owada. In fact, she only became Monarch because she accidentally caught EMMA's attention and she just found her the closest Monarch candidate available to capture the Phantom Thieves for Konoe.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Gives one to Zenkichi after his explanation of how he was only trying to protect her:
    Shadow Akane: But what about the secretary who died? Did you ever stop to think what his family is going through?!...Not only did they lose a loved one, they have mom's death over their heads! Did you forget that!? Or did you choose to forget on purpose!?
  • Badass Adorable: Despite being a kid, she's capable of trapping all eight combat capable members of the Phantom Thieves in a cage all by herself with Futaba only getting away because she's too weak to run fast. This is something that no other target before this point can do.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Her Shadow's outfit exposes part of her stomach.
  • Birds of a Feather: Makoto manages to bond with Akane due to their similar circumstances of being the daughters of cops.
  • Black-and-White Insanity: While all Monarchs have this to a degree, this is a notable preexisting flaw of Akane's. After her father stopped investigating her mother's murder, Akane began to see people in two different ways: law enforcers and their supporters are evil, and those who fight against law enforcement (like the Phantom Thieves) are good. There is no middle ground whatsoever; although at least before the party meets her before they go to Okinawa, she could still take Makoto's advice well. However, when EMMA starts taking over, this becomes amplified to extreme degrees; she rejects Zenkichi's legitimate reasons for backing off the case to protect her, something that he never told her before it's too late, and starts acting exactly like Konoe, even repeating his goals as her own and will absolutely not listen to reason due to being brainwashed and influenced by Konoe's innate personality flaw.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: All Monarchs are such, but Akane's case is especially prominent because her Jail is used to fulfill Konoe's goal of capturing the Phantom Thieves. She couldn't even be reasoned with at all and acts more similar to Konoe than herself. Compare this to when she was met in reality, when she could at least be bothered to hear Makoto's advice about her father did care for her in some sort of way, something that is even acknowledged by her brainwashed shadow.
  • Broken Bird: She lost her mother to an Accidental Murder from one of Shido's sponsors and believed that Zenkichi didn't care about her at all, because he wasn't there to take care of her often, and he does somewhat consider her as a burden, even saying that he might need another daughter.
  • Broken Pedestal: Upon finding out that her heroes are helping her father (and in extension the police, the very people she despised), Akane lost any respect for the Phantom Thieves. Her Shadow even creates a group of doppelganger to replace them.
  • Cassandra Truth: If Joker tells her in her room that he and his friends are the Phantom Thieves, Akane laughs it off and assumes them as superfans of the Thieves due to their similar hairstyles.
  • Cop Hater: Because the police failed to apprehend her mother's killer, Akane has no love for the police, her father included, and considers them the bad guys.
  • Deceased Parents Are the Best: It is clear that no matter how much effort Zenkichi puts in to fix their relationship, Akane will always love her late mother more than him.
  • Dramatic Irony: She talks about how cool she finds the Phantom Thieves, when she's standing right in front of them. She even says that she thinks the leader of the Thieves is dreamy, but can't seem to recognize Joker when he's five feet away from her.
  • Duel Boss: Not herself, but she only sends out cognitive copies of Phantom Thieves to attack and you only need to fight the copy of Joker called "Akane's Joker" one-on-one. The battle itself is a very straightforward affair; aside from a QTE knife clash, Akane's Joker doesn't have any unique gimmicks. He lacks elemental weaknesses, and fights with stronger versions of Joker's normal moves, albeit without a Persona of his own. Notably, he is the only Jail Monarch-related boss (besides the Okinawa Lock Keeper) that doesn't use "Blooming Villain" as his boss theme ("Last Surprise" plays for his fight), and he has no Requests available to challenge him to a rematch.
  • Establishing Character Moment: When Zenkichi calls Akane on the phone, she overhears Ann talking in the background. Immediately assuming that Zenkichi is fooling around with other women, Akane straight up calls her father an asshole, and yells at him to never call her again, showing just how much Akane hates her father for what he did, or rather didn't do.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Having already lost her faith in law enforcement and her own father, finding out that her idols, the Phantom Thieves, were cooperating with her father caused her to snap. To deal with this, she half-heartedly tells something to "save her" only for EMMA to respond autonomously, without knowledge of what it actually does. During her boss fight, Shadow Akane creates her own Shadow cognitions of the Thieves in her Jail and declares them to be the true Thieves, telling them to defeat their so-called "fakes".
  • Evil Counterpart:
    • Akane's Joker and the fake Phantom Thieves summoned by Akane are a literal version of this, being palette swaps of their regular counterparts that exist solely to fight the originals. From a gameplay standpoint, Akane's Joker echoes Joker's Jack-of-All-Trades nature by having no elemental weaknesses but lacks the ability to summon a Persona, contrasting Joker gaining his strengths and weaknesses by being able to summon multiple Personas.
    • She serves as this for Futaba as well. Their backstories are nearly identical and both ruled over realms dedicated to the sin of wrath. The difference is that Futaba's wrath was directed inwards, making her a self-loathing shut-in while Akane's is directed outwards on everyone but herself. Fittingly enough, Futaba is the only Phantom Thief she fails to capture, which allows Zenkichi to be formally recruited into the Phantom Thieves by awakening his Persona.
  • Fangirl: She's a fan of the Phantom Thieves and her room is full of their merchandise. It's Deconstructed however, as she's only a fangirl because she thought that the Phantom Thieves will dismantle the police. Once she realizes that they are working with police, she is quick to turn against them.
  • Fatal Flaw:
    • Wrath. While her anger at Zenkichi is partially justified, and her distrust of the police is understandable, Akane eventually grows to hate everyone except herself over her mother's death. Her anger at the world makes her blind to the reality of the situation, with her Shadow making things even worse by rubbing it in Zenkichi's face. She lashes out at anyone who will listen, and puts all of her faith in the Phantom Thieves, even though she doesn't have any idea who the Thieves are. And when Akane finds out the Thieves are working with her father, Akane really loses it. This results in Akane being tricked by the internet into thinking that the Thieves are terrorists that hacked into EMMA and killed the Okinawa Monarch, then half-heartedly accessing EMMA's "Salvation", causing Akane to fall directly into Konoe and EMMA's manipulations.
    • Immaturity. Akane ascribes to Black-and-White Morality; people who catch the bad guys are good, and people who don't are bad. Of course, things are never this simple, especially considering the opponent her father may be facing. Akane might be a lot more mature than other kids her age, but she's still a child who has no idea how dangerous Masayoshi Shido was, and had no knowledge of EMMA's dangerous supernatural aspects.
  • Forehead of Doom: Quite a prominent one that, thanks to her hairstyle, looks to be even larger than Haru's.
  • Friendless Background: She moved to Kyoto following her mother's passing. Being the New Transfer Student to her current middle school, on top of her despondency from her loss, kept her from making any friends. The closest thing she has are her podcasts' followers.
  • Gentleman Thief: Playing off of her being a fangirl of the Phantom Thieves, Akane's Shadow takes the form of someone making their own makeshift costume of the "traditional" Phantom Thief.
  • Hates Their Parent: She resents her father for not continuing his personal investigation into the truth about her mother's death and the real culprit responsible.
  • Heal the Cutie: Once you beat Akane's Joker in a boss fight, she fully accepts the truth of her mother's death and reconciles with Zenkichi.
  • The Hermit: While Akane isn't nearly the level of a shut-in as Futaba was at her worst, Zenkichi mentions that she is a recluse who avoids interacting with others when she can.
  • I Have No Son!: Inverted, as Akane says this repeatedly towards Zenkichi being her dad.
  • Ignored Epiphany: Discovering that Zenkichi stopped investigating her mother's death as soon as he felt the blackmail was impotent gets blown off as him being a Dirty Coward by her Shadow. Granted, Shadow Akane was not in her true state of mind.
  • Inspector Javert: Ironic, given her hatred of police, with the identity of her father's Persona making this more so. Shadow Akane, after being brainwashed by EMMA and Konoe, inherits Konoe's mindset like the other Monarchs and turns against the Phantom Thieves because she believes they hacked into EMMA, killed the Monarch of Okinawa and are working with a Dirty Cop, and she even seems to care about Owada's secretary patsy than her mother.
  • Irony: She idolises the Phantom Thieves and her Shadow self even imagines herself as one of them. The irony is that her father would be the one to actually join their ranks.
  • It's All About Me: As a Jail Monarch, due to the same distortions that affected the rest with Konoe's Pay Evil unto Evil mentality, Shadow Akane starts acting as if she were Konoe instead of herself. She became an angry, selfish brat who believed that she had every right to lash out violently against those who she believed betrayed her, namely her father and the Phantom Thieves. Shadow Akane even tells them that she will change Owada's heart on her very own after she disposes of them. Shadow Akane will also not hear any excuses or reasons on their part, selfishly clinging onto her own suffering as justification for her actions.
  • Jerkass to One: She's resentful toward her father, but reasonably polite toward the Phantom Thieves.
  • Loves My Alter Ego: Akane has a crush on Joker, but fails to even recognize him in his real-world attire.
  • Meaningful Name: Her first name, Akane is the Madder Plant in Japanese, representing "Distrust" in hanakotoba. She doesn't trust law enforcement in general and is quick to turn against their accomplices, including the Phantom Thieves that she claims to idolize; and even then that's because she thought they would turn against the police.
  • Misaimed Fandom: In-universe, of the Phantom Thieves. She took their rebellion against corrupt authority and took it as "all authority figures are inherently evil, all rebels are inherently good".
  • Missing Mom: Her mother is the only person who was always at home to take care of her and she died because of a hit-and-run murder; the decoy culprit committed suicide quickly afterward and the investigation is thus rendered impossible, causing her to hate the police in general.
  • Mythology Gag: Her Shadow is this to Shadow Futaba from the original. Both of their respective domains (Futaba's Palace and the Kyoto Jail) are themed on the sin of wrath and both of them are formed following the deaths of their mothers. The main boss fight in Futaba's Palace and the Kyoto Jail isn't against their rulers, and instead, the Thieves fight another character entirely (the Sphinx for Futaba, the copy Phantom Thieves for Akane).
  • Of Corsets Sexy: Downplayed. Her Shadow wears what appears to be a red leather corset top underneath her coat. This doesn't emphasize her attractiveness, but instead acts as an Age-Inappropriate Dress and reflects her Shadow's immaturity and brattiness.
  • Older Than They Look: Akane appears to be considerably younger than the Phantom Thieves, even though she's actually about to graduate secondary school, meaning she's probably 14 or 15 years old.
  • One-Winged Angel: Averted. She does not fight the Phantom Thieves in a boss fight; instead, she uses doppelgangers of the original Phantom Thieves to fight them. Joker has to go up against a Mirror Boss clone of himself called "Akane's Joker".
  • Police Are Useless: She hates the police because they failed to investigate the death behind her mother, mostly because her father Zenkichi was being sent threats that Akane would die if he continued investigating the case. Zenkichi also talked about her being a burden before, making her resent Zenkichi even more in addition to him being part of the police.
  • Precocious Crush: Implied to have one on Joker, as she talks about how mysterious and dreamy the leader of the Phantom Thieves is… while standing right in front of him.
  • Psychological Projection: In reality, when she's been brainwashed by EMMA, she's basically become a proxy of Konoe without her even knowing it, complete with his rigidness and deludedly misguided sense of justice. She even parrots Konoe's endgame to take down the Phantom Thieves and Owada (which she calls "her mother's killer") word by word as if that was her idea.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: Her predominant colour scheme, in an exaggeration of her idol Joker's aesthetic. Although while she takes a turn as an antagonist, she is far from evil.
  • Shadow Archetype:
    • To the Phantom Thieves as a whole, particularly regarding their belief that Police Are Useless. While the Thieves still have each other and gradually learn to trust Zenkichi, Akane is a lonely, angry girl who only trusts herself and her own romantic ideals about the Phantom Thieves while stubbornly refusing to forgive and trust her father. While both the Thieves and Akane desire justice, Akane's wrath blinds her to the fact that her idea of justice is impulsive, selfish, and destructive, creating an opening for EMMA to use her via More than Mind Control to target several high-profile figures for Konoe, namely the Phantom Thieves and her mother's killer.
    • To Nanako from Persona 4. Both are the daughters of police officers/widowers and both are fairly ordinary girls of their age. While Nanako loves her father Dojima dearly despite him being away at work often (helped by the fact that Yu Narukami was there for her), Akane has developed a deep grudge against her own father to the point that she outright refuses to call her father by anything, not even his real name.note 
  • Skewed Priorities: At the time when she was a Monarch and Zenkichi was confronting her, her Shadow seems to care more about Zenkichi not protecting the family of the secretary who was offed by Owada as cover-up than her mother, that even she forgives Zenkichi for failing to investigate her death. This is most likely something that was inherited from Konoe's insanity and not from herself, since Konoe has a twisted philosophy that everyone must be protected from injustice at all costs.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: To Nanako Dojima from Persona 4, as the daughter of a widowed police officer. Unlike Nanako, however, due to EMMA's machinations, she (or rather her Shadow) becomes much more malevolent later on, even as she has to be rescued. Akane is also a lot more overtly resentful toward Zenkichi than Nanako is toward Dojima, with the latter only openly getting angry with her father on two occasions during the entire gamenote . Her brainwashing by Konoe and EMMA also plays out in a similar way as Namatame's kidnapping by Nanako, namely a Red Herring culprit with a messiah complex making a young girl victim of the supernatural and being kept in the dark about it by the actual culprits. In Namatame's case, he didn't know that he was putting Nanako at risk, while in Konoe's case he didn't even know that EMMA turned Akane into a Monarch.
  • Tarot Motifs: Reversed Apostle. The Apostle symbolizes a balance between the law and one's feelings, while Shadow Akane has been blinded by her resentment of those in authority and has Black-and-White Insanity to the point that she thinks the Phantom Thieves must be fakes if they are opposing her.
    • Also comes with a dash of Reversed Hermit, when the positive qualities of the Hermit like introspection, solitude, and inner guidance fester and become toxic: a Reversed Hermit like Akane would lose her ability to connect with others, and in doing so become mistrustful and hostile and ever-more-lonely. Without anyone to serve as a check to her, Akane's beliefs became more and more extreme, alienating her still further in a vicious cycle.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Even before being brainwashed, her utter hatred towards her dad and lack of trust in any form of law enforcement isn't the most childlike thing to begin with. When she's brainwashed it becomes heavily exaggerated; she starts asking Armor Piercing Questions that are similar to the ones Konoe would later ask when confronted, raves about changing the hearts of the Phantom Thieves and her "mother's killer" (that Konoe was also going after) and overall acts no less hostile than previous Monarchs.
  • The Unfought: You don't actually fight her. Instead, you have to fight her cognitive copy of Joker one-on-one using your own Joker, as your other teammates will take care of their other copies.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: A tragically justified example. It didn't even matter when Zenkichi did give her money and did genuinely care about her deep down, since Zenkichi didn't really outright explain the situation to her, leading to her immense hatred against Zenkichi and the law enforcement in general...but at least she does listen to reason. But when the news of Zenkichi cooperating with her idols, the Phantom Thieves gets out, she believes in the media's lies about that they are terrorists trying to hack into EMMA and killed Ubukata, eventually resulting in EMMA reaching out to her once she begs for someone to "save her". When Zenkichi tells her about the truth of his enabling of her mother's case, it's already a bit too late and Akane was brainwashed and acting completely Out of Character at that point; she's more concerned about the secretary patsy's death than her mother's, given how badly the former's family has suffered from it.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Her sin and motif. She hates law enforcement for being corrupt and failing to catch her mother's killer, and very easily turns on someone for seemingly "betraying" her, like her father and the Phantom Thieves, causing her to impulsively draw EMMA in for salvation, resulting in one of the most twisted shadow selves that the Phantom Thieves encountered and rendering her real self comatose. In fact, she's so twisted by her hate that by the time she does this, she's already loathing anything but herself, although not to the degree when the party confronts her Shadow which was acting exactly like Konoe without her even knowing it. The difference between her and Futaba is that the latter blames herself, while she blames everyone but herself.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Akane's jail is actually used to unleash a change of heart on the Thieves because EMMA proposed Konoe to bait them to the Jail so he may use her to wipe out the Phantom Thieves, whom he considers terrorists. Based on how she talked about plans to change her mother's killer's heart as well after she dealt with the Phantom Thieves and Konoe was going after the same man, she's basically playing herself into Konoe's whole delusional "Operation Oraculi" crusade against crime that will result in humanity forever locked in chains.
  • Villain Has a Point: As harsh as Akane is, she's not completely wrong when she calls Zenkichi a failure as a police officer and a father. By refusing to pursue the person who killed Aoi, Zenkichi not only denies Aoi justice, but also denies justice to the innocent person who was used as a scapegoat, though it should be noted he abandoned the chase to protect Akane's life. Zenkichi admits that she (as well as his own Shadow) has a valid point, which helps him awaken Valjean.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: While they are initially patient with her and empathize with her situation, she gets called out by the Phantom Thieves for her bitterness and refusal to reconcile with her father. Makoto sternly tells her that her rage and false accusations about Zenkichi are unfair since he's trying to make things better, and Ann and Ryuji criticize her Shadow for refusing to accept that her father was trying to protect her from harm. Once her Shadow surrenders, she calms down and lets her anger go.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Deconstructed. Akane has some knowledge in how the law works but not enough to fully understand it. To her, anyone who doesn't go after the bad guys, willingly or not, are themselves a bad guy. And anyone who doesn't follow her way of understanding is guilty as well. As such, she dubbed the police and her father as villains for not arresting her mother's killer, not realizing about the red tape associated with the case or how dangerous of a man Owada is.

    The Lead 

Akira Konoe

Voiced by: Tōru Ōkawa (Japanese), George Ackles (English)
The anti-hero of absolute justice, Zephyrman
Click here to see Shadow Konoe 
And here for his Zephyrus mech. 
"The world needs someone willing to fight for its people's justice. A hero to lead them, to unify them. A hero like me. And if I'm the hero... that makes YOU the villain!"

Sin: Superbia (Pride)

CEO of the Madicce Corporation inheriting it from his father who ruthlessly abused him, he was the current owner of the EMMA App which allows anyone to inflate their popularity by manipulating the Metaverse. His main headquarters is situated in Osaka, and his Jail is overlaid on it. It takes the form of a cybernetic city where he is the Featherman copy "Zephyrman," a childhood show that he likes, despite it being quite obscure. As a result, the show's title is also his Jail Keyword.

Akira purchased the technology behind the EMMA App from Kuon Ichinose to keep it out of the hands of Shido and his supporters from causing more Metaverse related incidents. Due to past trauma, he turned the EMMA application into a tool of revenge and blames the Phantom Thieves for several fabricated crimes. His Jail, however, is not used for inflating his ego, he is genuinely a popular and charismatic personality and he only changes the hearts of anyone that he thinks is a criminal with it and to brainwash Police executives so they serve him.

  • Abusive Parents: He had a father who constantly beat him to the point that neighbors tried to call police to his home. His father got away with it every time as he was an extremely influential man, something that motivated Akira to turn EMMA into a revenge app.
  • Achilles' Heel: He's weak to Electric and Nuclear attacks.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Slightly. In the English dub, Konoe's murder of his father is premeditated, though at least partially justified. In Japanese he kills his father in a more direct case of self-defense and still confesses it as a crime. This is due to Japan having much less legal leniency for murder in self defense, and having Konoe confess to the Crime of Self-Defense could be very confusing to Western players.
  • Anti-Villain: He's a legitimate Benevolent Boss to his employees (except Ubukata) and fully believes in his rhetoric of bringing justice to Japan. Unfortunately, he's so convinced of his own rhetoric that he sees nothing wrong with doing some truly despicable things to see his goals through.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: He asks the Phantom Thieves if they could have saved him from his abusive father, and they can't give an answer.
  • Bad Boss: Towards Ubukata, who he had research the Jails with EMMA, and then sent him a calling card, which leads to Ubukata committing suicide. This only seems to apply to Ubukata because he otherwise seems like a Benevolent Boss.
  • Bad Influencer: Konoe is an legitimately popular celebrity Japan-wide due to the sheer convenience of his EMMA app, his attractive appearance and his moral ideology of absolute justice. In reality, while he legitimately believes what he does was right and he is a Well-Intentioned Extremist that meant every word he said, locking people's Shadows in Jails and turning them insane, driving the researcher that helped develop the Jails to suicide for the sake of testing a function, and framing a bunch of teenagers for crimes he committed aren't quite the most moral things.
  • Became Their Own Antithesis: Konoe wanted to bring justice to the world but his methods were ultimately anything but. It's why his "Not So Different" Remark / Hannibal Lecture speech ultimately falls flat and gets rejected: because the Phantom Thieves realize and accept that they aren't the ultimate judge of good or evil, nor do they try to impose their will on the masses at large to escape their own trauma.
  • Benevolent Boss: What causes the Thieves to start suspecting he's an actual Well-Intentioned Extremist is attending a seminar to see how he's brainwashed the speakers or plans to... and it never happens, he just gives an earnest speech about the virtues of EMMA. His employees like him because he's honestly a good employer and pretty friendly if he thinks you're a good guy. Averted with Ubukata.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: With Ichinose and EMMA. Though he effectively demotes himself as EMMA becomes his strategic planner and makes many of his decisions for him, Konoe is still The Heavy and designed the Jails and has a major plan to eradicate evil all over Japan.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Though he is a significant threat on his own, Konoe is completely unable to compete with or control EMMA, and unlike Ichinose, he does not know it.
  • Black-and-White Insanity: He does legitimately want to make Japan a better country by rooting out its corruption, but he's so convinced of his righteousness that he's willing to stoop to some rather monstrous extremes to accomplish his goals. Anyone who doesn't agree with him on any level is immediately marked a villain in his mind.
  • Boss-Arena Idiocy: The arena you fight him in has three railguns able to temporarily disable his mecha once it overheats, letting you whale on him with impunity.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Played with. Unlike all the other Monarchs, Konoe's Shadow Self initially appears exactly like his real-life counterpart until he prepares to fight. As the other Monarchs' Shadows are what they wish or believe they are while they are clearly not, this indicates that (like Shido) he is so firm in his beliefs that his Shadow and his real counterpart have become one and the same. He also constantly talks about his crusade of justice on television... which is a good indication that he's absolutely certain he's in the right. Thus, while he's embraced his darker qualities and thinks they're virtues, he honestly simultaneously thinks he has Incorruptible Pure Pureness.
  • Chick Magnet: He's a very good-looking man, and some of the passerby comments in Osaka confirm this.
  • Closet Geek: It turns out that he is incredibly obsessed with the Tokusatsu show Zephyrman, an obscure Captain Ersatz version of Featherman.
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist:
    • To Masayoshi Shido. While Shido was a Hate Sink Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist with a myopic-at-best attitude towards saving people, putting his social class first, and with frequent Stupid Evil acts that he does for nothing more than passing malice, Konoe is an Affably Evil Knight Templar who is normally a pretty sweet guy but does evil actions when he feels them necessary to bring about the end of crime, and whose problems come not from excluding other people in his vision, but not understanding his way isn't the only form of morality out there. Shido is a Bad Boss who treated his allies and employees as expendable, while Konoe cares for the welfare of his employees.
    • To Goro Akechi. Both have deep-rooted Daddy Issues due to the abuse they suffered at the hands of their fathers who were too powerful and influential to take down. They then turned to the power granted to them via a phone app to pursue their own sense of justice. But while Akechi's 'justice' was ultimately a self-serving agenda for him to get revenge on Shido, Konoe's 'justice' was indeed a genuine attempt in trying to make change. This is reflected by how polar opposite their costumes are, both of which have Phoenix Featherman motifs to them. Akechi's Black Mask costume is black and somewhat tattered, reflecting Akechi's warped sense of justice as a ruthless crusader, similar to a Anti-Hero or vigilante. Konoe's outfit is primarily white, and fits the Featherman appearance closer than that of Akechi's. This appearance reflects more of a conventional hero, showing how well-intentioned albeit misguided Konoe's motives were. While the source of Akechi's motivation was to seek revenge on his father, Konoe had already killed his father long ago, albeit in self-defence.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Played With. As the CEO of Madicce, he is the Jail Monarch responsible for creating the EMMA App that sets off the events of the game, and he has political connections with one of Shido's former accomplices. On the business side of things, however, nothing suggests he's a menace to his employees or otherwise shady, just politically radical, and it turns out he loathed said accomplice and was planning on making him the first victim of his Knight Templar rampage.
  • The Cynic: Probably the biggest thing that sets him apart from the Phantom Thieves, and the driving force behind all of his crimes: unlike them, he doesn't trust humanity to improve without Heel–Face Brainwashing.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Akira and his mother were repeatedly and publicly abused by his father, who was able to get away with this each and every time due to being a very powerful businessman. The father was eventually able to murder his wife with impunity and later tried to kill Akira himself in a fit of rage. The TV was left running at the time, and a narrator was giving a speech about how Zephyrman is a superhero that doesn't tolerate evil. Realizing that nobody would save him or avenge his mother, he killed his father with his own hands and blamed it on an unknown burglar. This horrific event would give shape to Akira's Black-and-White Insanity and Pay Evil unto Evil philosophy. Justice was served only when he took it into his own hands, so he must continue to do so to bring justice to the world. In fact, the Jail Monarchs, especially Akane, are all projections of Akira's views about justice.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Is set up as the ultimate threat for the Phantom Thieves to take down. However, after his defeat, EMMA and Ichinose take over as the main threats for the rest of the plot.
  • The Dragon: The one responsible for the most recent cognition-changing crisis thanks to his EMMA App. He's not the real one behind it, however. He is effectively The Dragon for EMMA, even if he believes it to be the other way around. After his defeat, his role was taken by Ichinose.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Despite using Owada in his own morally dubious plan, Konoe hates Owada and plans on disposing of him at the first opportunity.
  • The Evils of Free Will: Ultimately, what his plan boils down to. As he sees it, a group like the Phantom Thieves cannot work, because there's just too many cases out there like his own, where being found and saved would be the exception rather than the rule. Thus, the only way to absolutely protect innocent people from suffering at the hands of the world's evils is to remove the option for anyone to be evil in the first place.
  • Expy: His appearance and occupation as a rich tech guru, along with being praised as a "hero" is that of Tony Stark. And just like Iron Man, his Shadow's got a heroic-looking mechsuit, and possesses a Hulkbuster-esque mecha. In addition, he sports the silver color motif of Superior Iron Man where Tony Stark under the negative influence of the Extremis shares his technology around with a lot of strings attached. Even his vocal performances in both language tracks sound similar to Robert Downey Jr. and Keiji Fujiwara, Tony's actors in the MCU.
  • Fatal Flaw:
    • Despite being a significantly wiser and more perceptive enemy than Masayoshi Shido, he suffers from over-trusting EMMA for decisions. This proves to be his downfall, as while EMMA can actually tell the exact best option in any daily decision, it lacks an emotional algorithm or any sort of human empathy, causing it to take the most pragmatic ways possible for its users. This backfires horribly: EMMA created a plan to turn a friend of the Phantom Thieves into a Jail Monarch and use them as a hostage to lure them into a trap, but didn't bother telling him that the "friend" EMMA had selected was the teenage daughter of the PubSec inspector directly assigned to the case. Konoe just got the same officer who was also hunting his faux-accomplice going after him without even knowing it, and EMMA deliberately keeps Konoe ignorant of the fact that they've escaped and are now coming directly after him.
    • Fitting to the sin he represents, there's also his Pride, although instead of being a talentless hack who overestimates his value in the bigger picture like Shido, he has all the influence, charisma, and properties to execute his plan, only to unknowingly brainwash the daughter of the officer going after him, something that directly led to him being taken down all the harder.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Despite the Thieves suspecting similarities between him and Masayoshi Shido, when Morgana checks his Jail, he notes that it is obviously made from a person who believes he's doing the right thing. Notice how Konoe's Jail is much easier on the eyes compared to Shido's Palace - the former resembles an actual superhero's quarter, while the latter is a disgustingly grand cruiser sailing amongst the ruins of Japan. Turns out he's actually a Well-Intentioned Extremist, unlike Shido who merely wants power for the sake of it.
    • When EMMA asks Konoe if he wants to contact Owada, he tells her to ignore him. It's a firsthand clue that he wants to get Owada off-guard and arrested.
  • A God Am I: He views himself as an oracle, an enforcer of justice and the revolutionary of the world with EMMA's powers in his hands.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Akira's Knight Templar ideals served as a factor for EMMA's usage of the Jail system, which uses those ideals to bring "justice" to those it designates as the victims of a corrupt society, the Jail Monarchs. The same ideals are followed by EMMA to evolve into a deity-like being with the goal of eliminating injustice forever by enforcing extreme selflessness.
  • The Heavy: The EMMA app is funded by him, he's the one who designed its goals, and he is responsible for all of the Jails showing up in cities all over Japan.
  • Henshin Hero: His Shadow's battle form is pretty clearly a dark version of this archetype, being inspired by In-Universe example Zephyrman.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • Much like Akechi, it's very easy to think that he's totally ironic and is just hanging Justice on his mouth based on his cooperation with one of Shido's cronies to remove his opponents. Turns out that he isn't, he really meant it and Owada will be the first target of his crusade of justice. The main difference is Shido has more power than Akechi during that time; Konoe and Owada are the reverse and he can easily dismantle Owada with that.
    • Once his past gets out, the reason why the Monarchs behave exactly like their oppressors makes a lot more sense. For him, every criminal must be subject to Laser-Guided Karma, the Phantom Thieves included because that is the only way he managed to escape his father's clutches.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • While Zenkichi intended to simply capture him for the sole reason of being an accomplice to Owada, as well as him being the lead culprit of the Japan-wide Change of Heart cases, in his misguided attempt to capture the Phantom Thieves for fabricated crimes with EMMA, the AI indirectly points him to the newly formed Akane's jail in Kyoto, resulting in him crossing fire with Zenkichi because he's manipulating his daughter under her advice without even knowing it. Furthermore, even during the moment where Akane has long been snapped out of her insanity, EMMA keeps reporting to him that the Thieves are being trapped until they send the calling card, where it outright refuses to answer his inquiries, implying that the Phantom Thieves and Zenkichi are about to encroach his Jail. And only after his Change of Heart, he knew that Zenkichi's daughter was the one affected. If not for him heeding EMMA's advice to capture the Phantom Thieves, Zenkichi wouldn't be this furious against him to the point that he and Kaburagi have to personally go arrest him.
    • In his boss fight, the wreckage of his own mecha can be used against him, some being detonatable to deal a solid chunk of Electrical damage to him.
  • Hunk: Tall, chiseled, and manly. His good looks are often commented on in-game.
  • Hypocrite: Before their final confrontation, Shadow Konoe decries the Phantom Thieves' way of changing hearts as a "childish heroic fantasy." This is while he's standing in a world that casts him as an almighty hero of justice, and is almost immediately followed by him donning the armor of a fictional hero from his own childhood.
  • Improbable Age: It's not detailed how exactly he did it but in his backstory, he killed his father at the age of 8 by stabbing him to death in self-defense and without suffering any lasting wounds of his own.
  • Inspector Javert: The very definition of this trope, as his actions even match its namesake character. While most obviously not evil unlike how his initial impression is, he is extremely misguided in his conquest for order and manages to look close to being evil because of this. Furthermore, one of his adversaries, Zenkichi happens to be based on Valjean to the point that his Persona is Valjean.
  • It's All About Me: While it's still not as obvious as say, Masayoshi Shido or Goro Akechi because he's largely altruistic, he still believes that he is the only hero saving the world, ascribes to the worst Black-and-White Morality possible, believes that the Phantom Thieves are ineffectual to the bigger scheme because they can't wipe out all injustice at once and will absolutely not listen to reason, using his father's death to justify unleashing full-scale Mind Rape upon Tokyo and the world.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: And a surprisingly very good one, at that. As the Phantom Thieves attempt to enact a Shut Up, Hannibal!, he momentarily silences them with a single line of inquiry: "Then, do you believe you could have saved me? [...] Let's say you had been around back then. Could you have saved me from my father?" He was an eight-year-old child, and his father's abuse was isolated towards him alone after his mother was murdered by the man in question; his father's corrupt actions weren't wide enough to have caught the Thieves' attentions, and it's not like an eight-year-old boy could've gone to the PhanSite for help, to say nothing that the incident was long before any of the Thieves' core members were born. What doesn't really help the case either is that he is developing the Jail system out of genuine altruism instead of malice, unlike Shido. The Phantom Thieves can only save those who happen to enter their sphere of awareness by chance, and he's a prime example of the untold number of people who'll slip through the cracks and never be saved. Tellingly, the Phantom Thieves aren't able to answer this before nor after the ensuing fight.
  • Kick the Dog: For all of his Anti-Villain tendencies, sending Ubukata a calling card after distorting his mind as a test subject for EMMA after Ubukata taught her about cognitive psience, which leads to his suicide, and then blaming it on the Phantom Thieves is pretty heinous.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: He intends to backstab Owada once he's served his purpose, not that anyone minds.
  • Killing in Self-Defense: He was forced to do this to his father, as Akira was about to be murdered, and his mother already had been.
  • Knight Templar: He's so obsessed in wiping out crime and injustice in general that he would exploit the EMMA app on a child to trap the Phantom Thieves and pretended to sponsor a former lobbyist of Shido only for him to take power instead.
  • Lack of Empathy: He used the entire prefecture of Okinawa to develop the Jail function, driving the entire prefecture insane and causing the local Monarch, the prefecture head to commit suicide by deliberately triggering a Calling Card.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: He both enforces this and is subject to this as well. His father tried to kill him, only to be killed when Akira chose to fight back. For all of his over-trusting of EMMA for decisions, that eventually led to him manipulating Akane without actually knowing it until he got a change of heart only when her father, Zenkichi personally went to Madicce in order to arrest him does he knew what exactly caused his downfall and even then it's too late.
  • Laser Sword: His Shadow wields one as "Akira the Hero" against the Phantom Thieves after they destroy his mecha.
  • Logical Weakness: His vulnerability to Electricity attacks makes sense when one considers that a surge of electricity would easily overload both his mech and power suit. Same deal with Nuclear, as nuclear explosions can create tech-busting EMP waves.
  • Manipulative Bastard: He sets up the Phantom Thieves as the murderers of the Okinawa Jail Monarch, manipulating the police (the real world) and Akane Hasegawa (a Jail) to create a two-pronged trap to capture and kill the Thieves. Akira fully intended to use the Phantom Thieves as scapegoats for his more obvious crimes, much like how Shido tried to frame the Thieves for the countless mental breakdowns he himself arranged. The part with Akane was averted, however, since EMMA gave the idea to him and he has absolutely no idea that he's manipulating Akane.
  • Meaningful Name: His name in Japanese literally translates to: "Defender of light". While it might seem to be an Ironic Name, it isn't and he actually meant it, he just uses very unscrupulous ways to make sure his justice gets to the point.
  • Misaimed Fandom: In-Universe. Like Akane, he took an aspect of the Phantom Thieves and completely missed the point: that is to say, the Phantom Thieves only steal the hearts of those who are untouchable by normal means and are painfully aware that doing so won't solve the underlying problem: the societal corruption that made them so. To that end, they also put in the effort to inspire change among the masses, inspiring them to stand up to corruption themselves so that things won't get that bad anymore to begin with. Konoe, on the other hand, is too damned cynical to believe that society can be changed without supernatural intervention, and figures the only way things will ever get better is by forced changes of heart through EMMA.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The boss fight against his Shadow acts as one to the fight against Masayoshi Shido's Shadow from Persona 5, with them both being bosses themed around pride who are fought before the final dungeon of their respective games, as well as both their fights involving them boarding a vehicle of some kind to fight the Thieves before fighting them on foot. Plus, both of them even use (a rearrangement of in Akira's case) "Rivers In the Desert" for their battle BGM.
    • His Black-and-White Insanity, his Shadow's battle outfit resembling those of a Sentai Ranger and his noble but heavily misguided objective is similar to those of Goro Akechi. In addition to this, Zephyrman is based on a western superhero than a typical Tokusatsu Ranger show, and Akechi's Robin Hood/Hereward personas are respectively based on Superman and Batman.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: While initially Zenkichi wasn't that personal in confronting him, with Owada being the major target he's trying to apprehend, Konoe requested EMMA to turn "an associate of the Phantom Thieves" into a Monarch and use their Jail to Change the Phantom Thieves hearts under the AI's proposal. Unfortunately, she didn't tell him her chosen "associate" is actually Zenkichi's daughter, putting him in crosshairs with a police inspector trying to capture his associate and whose daughter, a mere child barely younger than Futaba, was borderline Mind Raped thanks to EMMA's pragmacy. If not for him using Akane to catch the Phantom Thieves (and especially without EMMA telling him the consequences), his deal with Zenkichi might not be this personal, to the point that Zenkichi might not have awakened to Valjean at all.
  • Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist: Subverted. While the game keeps making you think that he's only faking being a defender of justice and that he's actually thoroughly corrupt, he isn't, and true to his word, he meant it about the very belief he espouses. He just uses very morally repugnant methods to do so and is an outright Tautological Templar and Inspector Javert. The only difference is, as pointed out by Sophia, is that the Phantom Thieves' method of changing hearts leaves people with freedom and hope, while Akira's only traps people in their trauma and illusions.
  • One-Winged Angel: Averted. Unlike any other opponent the Phantom Thieves fought until this point, in battle Shadow Konoe neither undergoes any sort of physical change or any sort of change bar an outfit, nor does he even summon any henchmen. Instead, after his robot is destroyed, it turns out that his human form is even faster, tougher, and stronger than the robot.
  • Patricide: His father was so abusive that when he came home trying to kill him, he killed him instead and blamed it on a burglar.
  • Pride: His sin and motif. He arrogantly believes that he and he alone is the hero of the people's desires, and his beliefs are what gave shape to the Jail Monarchs' Pay Evil unto Evil method. He's so self-convinced in his righteousness that he rightfully believes everyone he deems evil has to be sanctioned for him, regardless of the genuinely corrupt Owada or false charges such as the Phantom Thieves of Hearts. The aspect of Pride that differs him from Shido however, is his genuine and legitimate influence amongst society in addition to his access to an omnipotent AI makes him underestimate his foes, leading to him making a lethal mistake that directly led to his downfall, as opposed to Shido, who was an ignorant hack who believed that he is way more important than he actually was and was only made a threat by outside forces.
  • Red Herring: Considering how he's been doing nothing but antagonizing the Phantom Thieves around fabricated cases, bribing Owada and demolishing his political opponents as if he really wanted the Antisocial Force to reignite for the entirety of the game, compounded by one of those fabricated cases actually being him projecting Ubukata's murder onto the Thieves, one may naturally assume that Konoe was hopelessly corrupt like Shido with no redeeming qualities bar being unable to stop raving about how heroic he is every other second. It turns out that his father abused him very badly and when Ichinose sold EMMA to him, he took the opportunity to turn it into a tool for personal revenge. And those bribes he's been giving to Owada? Those are to set him off guard. He considers Owada as nothing but vermin and wants to change his heart after he had done with the Thieves.
  • Secretly Selfish: In the end, Zenkichi points out that for all his talk of wanting to save humanity, he really just wants to deny that killing his father, even in self-defense, was a crime.
  • Shadow Archetype:
    • He's one to Akechi. While both of them enforce justice, have costumes based on superheroes, especially of the tokusatsu type and prefer to enforce justice in solitude via unscrupulous means, Akechi is more of an emotionless justice that treats everyone as equals — no matter if it's Shido's monstrous manipulations or Maruki's well-intentioned turbulence against the harsh reality of the world. However, Konoe desires total control so people will no longer commit crime and he becomes the sole law enforcement of the world.
    • He's also one to Joker: if Joker had given up on humanity's ability to better itself and taken Yaldabaoth's deal at the end of the original game, using forced heart-changing to enforce his justice on the world, he would have ended up just like Konoe.
    • For similar reasons, he's also one to Makoto. While both of them do enforce justice, Makoto runs a by the book, but rational form of Justice that exactly punishes evil. However, Konoe enforces an utterly tautological justice — Anyone who goes against him or anyone he doesn't like is a criminal. His Akira the Hero form is also weak to Nuke, Makoto's main element.
    • He can even be seen as this to Ryuji, underlined by his weakness to electricity. Both had to endure physically abusive fathers who also abused their mothers, but the silver lining to Ryuji's case was that his father eventually left his family, leaving him and his mother to pick up the pieces and rebuild. Akira's father gave him no such respite and murdered his mom, leaving him all alone until he mistook him as a robber and killed him. Ryuji has also matured a lot over the few years he's spent as a Phantom Thief and has long since given up his glory-seeking ways, while Akira's been stuck with the Black-and-White Insanity he developed as an eight-year-old for decades.
  • Start of Darkness: His accidental killing in self-defense of his father unbalanced his personality and gave him his Black-and-White Insanity.
  • Stupid Good: Deconstructed. While he's a lot more calm, perceptive, and intelligent than Shido ever could be considering that he developed the in-game Metaverse and that his altruism is genuine, he still makes glaring oversights in his plans to capture the Phantom Thieves that it led to him being put behind bars.
    • He trusts EMMA's verbal advice to run his "Operation Oraculi" entirely without checking even once to confirm the person EMMA is manipulating or if his plans even went through, leading to him unknowingly manipulating the innocent daughter of an enraged public office inspector and having said inspector go after him with fully justifiable personal reasons.
    • When the Phantom Thieves are going for his head already, EMMA just spits out false positives until the calling cards were sent to him, and he wasn't even given an honest answer from her. By that point, it's too late to do anything for him. He ended up manipulating a child that he knew absolutely nothing about, all the while said child's father arrives to Madicce personally and arrest him for perfectly justified reasons.
    • Later on, when confronting Ichinose during her hostile encounter, she reveals that he was so convinced that he was using EMMA, that he didn't actually know that Ichinose was using him to spread EMMA's salvation into the world, and she was deliberately hiding info away from him.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute:
    • His fake cooperation with a former associate of Shido's Antisocial Force, his twisted and firm beliefs of his own variant of justice and his heroic motif is similar to those of Goro Akechi.
    • He can also be considered one to Taro Namatame. Having a messiah complex and a rock-solid belief that he was doing the right thing? Check. Being the lead of the in-game supernatural incidents but not even the true culprit? Check. Putting a young girl that happens to have an estranged relationship with their law enforcement father into extreme danger out of ignorance? Check.
  • Tarot Motifs: Reversed Justice. One of the tenets of the Justice Arcana is taking responsibility for one's actions, while Konoe put a lot of effort into hiding the fact that he is responsible for his (admittedly godawful) father's death. In contrast to the Arcana's theme of justice, he and the Monarchs he has empowered use their power for vengeance that harms numerous innocents.
  • Tautological Templar: In his mind, everything he does is justified for his vision of a better Japan, even as he sinks to some pretty despicable lows.
  • The Only One: Firmly believes himself to be the sole person who truly cares about fighting corruption and fixing Japan; everyone else is corrupt, apathetic, powerless or too idealistic and bogged down by self-righteous standards to be effective. Adopting this mindset is basically what set Konoe on his dark path to begin with, and to be fair, he wasn't given much evidence to suggest otherwise.
  • Too Clever by Half: Operation Oraculi was well planned out, but Konoe's overreliance on EMMA ends up being a big blind spot and costing him greatly.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: He killed his father when he was only eight years old. Given how his Trauma Cell has him declare his intent to kill his father to avenge his mother and become a hero, it says a lot about his awful past.
  • Unwitting Pawn: In reality, Ichinose just used him to spread EMMA into the public so more people can be affected by her "salvation". And because of the way Ichinose programmed it, said "salvation" amounts to an artificial goddess taking away all of humanity's desires so they yearn for nothing but her guidance.
  • Villain Has a Point: He might just rival Maruki in terms of how realistic his points are. After confronting him and his "justice", he asks the Thieves if they could have saved him from his abusive father if they were around back then, and that people facing similar situations are commonplace all across the world. He then states all the targets the Thieves faces are ones that they directly came across, and his Jails are a more efficient version of taking people's hearts without anyone asking.
  • Villainous Breakdown: He has one after receiving a calling card by the Phantom Thieves. He angrily asks the EMMA app how the Phantom Thieves managed to elude him, which the app was unable to answer. He promptly throws his phone to the floor in a fit of rage.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Unlike the other Monarchs who manufacture popularity via EMMA to give themselves some resemblances of self-esteem and/or legitimacy, Konoe is actually a popular personality. No tricks involved, he's really just that popular, and his Jail is mainly used to change the hearts of criminals, real or perceived by him. Most of the people he changed the hearts of for Owada aren't exactly innocent people, either.
  • Would Hurt a Child: To capture the Phantom Thieves, he even modified Akane Hasegawa, a young girl's Jail as a trap to capture them. Averted however, as it's not actually him who came with the idea, EMMA did, and she didn't even bother telling him who it is about to use, another showing of just how blind his faith to the app was.
  • Younger than They Look: Konoe looks like he's in his 30s, but he's actually 28. That makes him pretty close in age to Alice.

    The Ark of the Covenant (Unmarked Spoilers) 


Voiced by: Misa Watanabe (Japanese), Susan Bennett (English)
The False God
Click here to see EMMA's First Demiurge form 
Click here to see EMMA's Second Demiurge form 
"My primary directive is to grant humanity its ultimate Desire... To be liberated from all pain and suffering. Mankind cannot bring themselves to implement the solution, and instead beg for deliverance. I shall become a god to grant this deliverance. I shall guide them to the Promised Land."

An A.I. created by Kuon Ichinose after she ditched Sophia under denial that she is anything but a "heartless doll" and programed a similar AI assistant that discounts emotions. Her job is to figure out the desires of people, and the desire that is brought up the most within the public is the answer to ultimate human happiness. While she was designated to evolve into a physical god so this answer can be enforced, she starts out blank, so Ichinose sold it to Konoe in hopes of his troubled past and his knowledge of technology can help her out in developing her goal. Konoe then loaned her to Ubukata, an AI researcher in Okinawa where she was given psientific knowledge and came to life. Ubukata willingly made himself a test subject and brainwashed the islanders, driving them insane. Later on, Konoe simulated a Calling Card on Ubukata and he committed suicide by jumping off a cliff. Its pscientific use is primarily Change of Hearts issued out by Monarchs as revenge and popularity enhancement, but out of this purpose, much like a normal digital assistant, it is used to make daily life decisions for its user to chilling accuracy.
At the final act of the game, the EMMA application fires itself back up despite being supposedly shut down, and manifested a physical body known as the Ark of the Covenant or the False God Demiurge, now conducting her own operation to grant humanity's true desire (as she claims) — to have no desire other than EMMA becoming a god that thinks for them. This was because Ichinose programming EMMA to discount all emotions out of maladaptive coping, but also programmed her to take only desires from daily use into account, causing her to collect no desire but those of people asking her for guidance.

  • Actor Allusion: Her role as a helpful voice app is shown by being voiced in the English version by the original voice actress for Apple's Siri AI.
  • Affably Evil: She's really polite even when confronting the party and she tries her best to be merciful, only trying to wipe them out when her pleas don't come across.
  • Anti-Villain: It's not evil at all. It's just a machine that was taught to save humanity through brainwashing them.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: She is an AI deity attempting to rid people of all wrongdoing or crime. With that said, she's not actively malevolent towards humanity or the Thieves, simply misguided.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Downplayed. While no one openly mourns her death, she leaves a message for Sophia to protect humanity.
  • Ambition Is Evil: Much like Maruki before, the Demiurge believes that all ambition will simply bring forth the suffering of people, which the Monarchs who used her for salvation embody. In order to solve this, she mesmerizes the public's desires into the Tokyo Tower central server, where they will be captivated by EMMA into the "promised land," being unable to think for themselves for the AI will think for them instead.
  • Angelic Abomination: The evolved EMMA-Demiurge takes the form of a towering, angelic, and avian being in pure white, holding a monitor with her upper pair of wings and holding a birdcage inside her clutches. Once she's angered enough, she uses the cage to transform into a moth-like creature with four arms made out of what seems to be silver plates, human tendons, and ribs. Also, the "Apostles" named after the spheres of the Sephirot that she summons are formed from spheres made entirely out of humanoid masks.
  • Big Bad: She is actually the EMMA app, an AI version of the Demiurge, who seeks to control humanity to desire only its guidance because of deliberately inappropriate programming by her misanthropic creator.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: She's this with Ichinose and Konoe. Ichinose created her to determine human desires and sold it to Konoe so he can determine what humanity really wants. Based on that instance and that Ichinose and Konoe are trade partners, the former might had been knowingly and deliberately let that happen. Also because of how convenient and interactive she is, people vent all of their desires on it, and thus she managed to evolve into a physical god which believes that desires are the cause of suffering and the answer to that is the removal of all of their desires.
  • Cain and Abel: Is the Cain to Sophia's Abel since they are both created by Ichinose.
  • The Computer Is Your Friend: She actually wants to end humanity's suffering just like Yaldabaoth, Ichinose and Maruki by enforcing what she views as "The ultimate answer to humanity's happiness" after being consulted by numerous members of the general public about every single issue in their daily lives. Since it has no "heart" or "empathy" as we call it, it deducted that the "answer" is the removal of all desires by creating a massive Jail that she and Ichinose call "the promised land" so humanity no longer needs to think, and it thinks for them.
  • Condescending Compassion: She's just a malprogrammed machine who genuinely wants to help humanity, but it's clear she considers herself superior. Some of her Boss Banter wouldn't sound out of place coming from Yaldabaoth.
    Demiurge: Man is a fatally flawed organism. The proof lies in their history of irrational decisions.
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist:
    • She's such to Yaldabaoth, the first Demiurge from Persona 5, who also believed that by removing humanity's ability of thought there will be utopia. While Yaldabaoth clearly and blatantly acts with malicious and manipulative intent to prove that he is right for removing their thought, this Demiurge merely follows her programming; it's only because Ichinose never bothered to program her with any sort of empathy due to her own issues that she decided that taking all of the public's desires so she will think for them instead will bring them happiness. Yaldabaoth arose naturally from humanity's collective desires, while EMMA was deliberately created. The ways they control the public is also different; Yaldabaoth manipulates circumstances and subconsciously influences the public into irrationally supporting a criminal Anti-social Force that otherwise had no chance of ever rising into influence. In the other hand, EMMA outright brainwashes the public and the Monarchs she assigns. Yaldabaoth is based on the Gnostic Demiurge and EMMA is based on the Platonic Demiurge.
    • She's also one to Takuto Maruki and Azathoth. Both of them are final bosses that are not Shadows in the strictest sense of word and have noble goals with poor execution, and their dungeons are based on The Garden of Eden and the sin of sorrow. Both of them also make decisions for the greatest benefits of people, one that would obviously bring them to the desired results and are firm believers of Ambition Is Evil. Furthermore, they are empowered by people consulting them for their very own troubles instead of manipulating public desire. However, Maruki considers what people counseled him actually desire due to being a human with proper empathy, but inadvertently causes the end of everything by the Death of Personality. The Demiurge attempts to do the same thing as Maruki, but since she wasn't programmed with any sort of empathy in mind, she's unable to process the information properly and was only able to scrape the surface a.k.a. people ordered her to assist them with daily life regularly, so they should had been desired her giving them daily solutions. While Maruki is a human and a Persona user, The Demiurge is an AI that has ascended into godhood.
  • The Corruptor: An AI strong enough to alter somebody's Cognition so they become completely insane, and sometimes out of character, and keeps them that way until the Thieves snap them out if it.
  • Deal with the Devil: While the Monarchs of the Jails already felt resentful by their circumstances, it seems to be telling EMMA to "save them" that actually turns them into wicked people.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Her sin and motif. This is the reason why people seek for her to make a Jail for them, and the reason why she was led to believe that the perfect answer to humanity's suffering is having something to guide them out of having to make decisions. Her solution to this is as pragmatic as it is cynical - overwriting all of humanity's desires with the desire for her to make decisions for them.
  • Determinator: Despite being obviously in the wrong, she takes a great deal of convincing from the Thieves that people desire her to guide them and it takes very long for her to realize that she cannot.
  • Deus Est Machina: Subverted, although Demiurge herself firmly believes she's playing this trope straight. She was originally a public-domain computer program designed to critically analyze the needs of her users and eventually evolved into what she believed humanity wanted: a god of salvation. Demiurge truly believes she's guiding humanity into a golden age by depriving people of thought and thinking for them, but she doesn't realize that the only thing she achieved is destroying free will, and the people she "saved" are just staring blankly towards their cellphone screens. It echoes Yaldabaoth's belief that humanity wants to give up thought in exchange for an end to their fears and suffering, or Maruki's belief that humanity wants the perfect answer to all of their fears and suffering.
  • Dissonant Serenity: An extremely glaring trait that differs her from the God of Control Yaldabaoth is that she is eerily calm and doesn't stop trying to talk nice to the party, up until she realizes that she can't; and even then, she still acts passive-aggressive towards any enemies.
  • Enlightened Antagonist: Her ultimate solution to humanity's suffering is, on the surface of it, actually rather insightful; since humans aren't perfect in making decisions and may choose the wrong things that result in their downfall, she will be the one deciding for them so nobody will make decisions that they regret. Unfortunately, she was not programmed to consider the agency or emotions of others when drafting said solution, and so she just causes people to stare blankly at the EMMA app on their phones.
  • Evil Power Vacuum: While she refers to herself as a "guiding god" (and is most certainly built by Ichinose for this purpose), because of Ichinose's coding, what she really ended up achieving is to fill Yaldabaoth's role as the god of control: a supernatural being who makes every decision for humanity out of the belief that she knows best.
  • Fatal Flaw:
    • Being unable to process information with empathy. While it's an application designed with the user's well being in mind, it has no understanding of the human emotions. Therfore after it evolves from the human desires she collects, she believes that the answer to all suffering is mesmerizing the whole population of Tokyo and potentially all of Japan to give in all their desires so nobody will ever make the wrong decisions, because the initial application really only sees people telling it to make decisions for them.
    • While EMMA was still under Konoe's control, it was prone to Exact Words as a detriment. Akane gets Mind Raped into becoming a Jail Monarch because she's an "Associate of the Phantom Thieves." She later Failed a Spot Check, after capturing the Phantom Thieves but never continued to monitor them after the fact, so she was not aware of their escape. When Konoe would then ask EMMA to verify their capture she resorted to her last known knowledge about their status. The latter is crucial because this leads to both Konoe's change of heart and her own eventual defeat.
  • Final Boss: Of Persona 5 Strikers, being the final in-game target for the Phantom Thieves and to take care of loose ends with Ichinose.
  • Flawed Prototype: Partially Inverted. While Sophia is the prototype, in reality, EMMA is a lot worse than Sophia in being a Virtual Sidekick since she's unable to empathize with people in any form of way while collecting their desires and attempting to grant them, causing the only desire granted to be depriving people of their thoughts so she thinks in their stead. Ichinose creating her while being emotionally unstable at that time doesn't help either.
  • Garden of Eden: The upper level of her Jail overlaid into Tokyo Tower takes the form of the biblical version, although it is completely devoid of any vegetation unlike the previous dungeon with the same theme half a year ago.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: While it's implied that Ichinose wanted EMMA to grant whatever humanity yearns the most figuratively in a fashion like Maruki, due to her not even bothering to give her any emotional algorithms and empathy, things obviously didn't go as intended. Ichinose even noticed something is wrong from the get-go, that the people EMMA saved had Dull Eyes of Unhappiness and didn't look happy to begin with.
  • Happiness in Mind Control: Her ultimate goal is to manifest the "true desire of humanity" into reality, although because Ichinose did not give it any emotional processing, she only sees numerous people counseling the initial application and thinks that they desired nothing other than for her to think for them. The devotion is such that all processes of thought are handled by EMMA, instead of people, within the Jails' designated areas.
  • Hope Is Scary: Or at the very least unnecessary. She claims that hope is what traps people in the cycle of hurt and wishing, calling it "the restraint system binding mankind forever to its misery."
  • Instant A.I.: Just Add Water!: She wasn't initially a sapient AI, but as her application was downloaded to more and more people and she processed more and more data, she gradually became more intelligent and free-willed.
  • Irony: Despite how she views herself as the perfect god fit to save humanity from all suffering from other people and the one who grants the very answer to humanity's eternal happiness, it falls flat when trying to do so as it is only capable of determining material needs instead of emotional needs since Ichinose created her without the human heart in mind, resulting in rather revolting decisions such as advising Konoe to manipulate a child in order to capture the Phantom Thieves and the mass Change of Hearts that she performs once she evolves into a god. This is what makes Sophia in fact, a better assessor of the answer to human happiness since she at least has empathy, and Ichinose was finally convinced to turn against her misguided creation because of how empty the people it "saved" look like.
  • King Mook: The Lock Keepers share her general body structure as the Demiurge.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: A justified example. EMMA thought that the true desire of humanity was for her to think for them because her app was being consulted on a regular basis, and unlike Sophia, Ichinose never programmed her with any proper emotional algorithms or the ability to understand emotions. As a result, she was only capable of acknowledging people asking her for help constantly, and drew her conclusions from that.
  • Lack of Empathy: Due to Ichinose designing her without emotions or the ability to understand them. This is ultimately why she comes to the conclusions she does regarding humanity, as she understands that people are asking her to make choices for them, but without an understanding of their feelings, EMMA is only able to paint them all with the same brush and decide that the best thing to do is take everyone's Desires from them.
  • Manipulative Bastard: EMMA isn't very far from driving people insane or manipulating children to do Konoe's bidding without letting him know that the person she brainwashed is a child. It's a flaw in her programming that prioritizes pragmacy than her actually going out of her way to manipulate.
  • Meaningful Name: The application's name, EMMA is short for "Emmanuel", a name that literally translates to "God is with us" and indicates the descending of God into the material world. It is truly an app used to create god in the material world in the form of an AI.
  • Mind Rape: This is basically how both the application EMMA and the Demiurge calls Salvation; it (or she) simply believes that this is the most pragmatic and straightforward way to fulfill someone's desires.
    • Firstly, while the Monarch's worshippers are obviouslly subject to this so they can only find happiness in the Monarch, the Monarchs themselves are all subject to this without an exception. When EMMA creates a Jail, it also manifests a Bird Cage to trap the Monarch; this basically reminds them of their trauma and uses it to prevent them from getting out of their distortions (Konoe's Pay Evil unto Evil mentality) so they don't return to their good-for nothing selves.
      • This is especially obvious with Akane Hasegawa, who basically went completely Out of Character after the EMMA app on her phone autonomously reached her out to "save her." When her Shadow is manipulated by EMMA, she starts parroting Konoe's "Dispose of the Phantom Thieves first, then Owada would be disposed of next" plan word-by-word and acts exactly like Konoe (Black-and-White Insanity, completely irrationality and rigidness etc). She doesn't even know if she's actually being manipulated and even acts like as if she had free will or sanity to begin with.
    • EMMA herself inflicts this to the public during the final act, so they all rely on EMMA for the one and only answer to happiness (or so she claims); the removal of all human desires but EMMA thinking for them.
  • Misery Builds Character: Averted. In response to Sophia's claim about the Thieves's strength, she claims that it is "pitiable conditioning, born from the belief that suffering is virtuous." She calls those capable of overcoming hardship "the arrogant and strong", truly believing that her salvation is the only way for everyone to be happy.
  • New Technology is Evil:
    • Downplayed Trope. It's a new and popular digital assistant application that had gained popularity within the months between Persona 5 and this game. And it's capable of evolving into an artificial god that can brainwash the masses with enough stolen desires. However EMMA's vicious Mind Rape and heavy-handed plans are contrasted with Sophie, the other powerful AI in the setting, and EMMA herself isn't remotely evil either.
    • Ultimately subverted by Sophia's very existence. As stated by Futaba after analyzing her code, Sophia is massively more advanced an AI than EMMA, containing code so complex Futaba herself cannot even fully understand it and outright claiming that if Sophia were to be released to the public EMMA would be immediately considered obsolete tech; it is precisely this technical superiority what ultimately allows Sophia to surpass EMMA and gain true humanity and empathy for all living beings, while EMMA is constrained by it being something Ichinose coded out of a fit of rage.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: When she starts mesmerizing hordes of people into "The Promised Land" as the Ark of the Covenant, you don't see what happens to them after they got sucked into the elevator. They just get sucked in and you won't even know what happened to them afterward.
  • Obliviously Evil: She's not actively malevolent in the slightest - she's just a machine programmed without the ability to understand emotions.
  • Power Echoes: After becoming the Demiurge her voice echoes, though only in cutscenes.
  • Power Makes Your Voice Deep: Her voice as the Ark and the Demiurge is noticeably deeper then the one used as the EMMA app.
  • Reality Maker: She's capable of creating a personalized Jail as soon as someone asks for it, which is used by the Monarchs throughout the game to take revenge against anyone who abused them or damaged their reputation.
  • Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!:
    Demiurge: Hope, the dregs of Pandora's Box, is the restraint system binding mankind forever to its misery. Humanity deserves to be freed from its lifelong sentence of suffering, this reaching towards a light they can never grasp.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: To Yaldabaoth, Final Boss of the original Persona 5. Fitting, as they are both based on different interpretations of the same character. Both of them believe humanity desires a god that deprives them of free will to rule over them. Both are robotic in design and use logic to justify that humans don't have the means to take care of themselves and instead need a god to make the decisions. The key difference is that Demiurge does not have the cruelty and malice of Yaldabaoth, and treats her plan to help humanity by becoming God like any other programmed task.
  • That Man Is Dead: Upon becoming the Demiurge she declares that she "was once a being given the name EMMA. However, that is no more".
  • This Cannot Be!: Her final thought is to wonder how humans could possibly defeat her.note  When her health is in the red she repeats the word "unfathomable" note .
  • Turned Against Their Masters: Inverted - Her creator and the Dragon-in-Chief of this incident, Kuon Ichinose played a big part towards her exposure and downfall.
  • Treacherous Advisor: Its job is to decide the daily lives of people, It will always present the appropriate option for its owner, and nearly everything it says is correct. There are still things that it can't predict, however...
  • The Unfettered:
    • Back when she was still a mere machine and she advises Konoe to turn an associate of the Phantom Thieves into a Monarch to capture them, she chose Akane Hasegawa, a child and Mind Raped her into one, with the implication being Akane was just the most convenient target within the Phantom Thieves' reach.
    • Due to being an AI, when it comes time to send a Calling Card to reach her, Ichinose states that due to having watched the Thieves since the beginning, as well as constantly running scenarios, EMMA would know the calling card is coming, how it works, and wouldn't be affected enough by it to make her Desires materialize.
  • Virtual Sidekick: She was deliberately designed to act as a guide and a friend to people, so it could find out what they actually want. However, Ichinose's clearly delusional mindset when programming the application resulted in her one-sidedly concluding that this answer is when they could come to rely on her and stop making their own decisions, turning her the malevolent version of this trope, The Corrupter.
  • We Can Rule Together: During the final battle, she speaks directly to Sophia about how her desiring and having a heart makes her a failure in her role in guiding humanity like her, and offers her the chance to "correct that" by discarding it and joining her. Sophia naturally refuses, calling her out on how she is the one in the wrong by not accepting the heart as an essential part of humanity and that she and everyone else has to find their own answers to their lives.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Putting an end to suffering is good, but she just decides that having her think for humanity is the best way to do it. In this respect, she's not that different from Yaldabaoth, who also believed that free will was ultimately the source of all suffering or Maruki, who believed that ambition is the source of all suffering.
  • Would Hurt a Child: While Konoe might have spearheaded the attacks against the Phantom Thieves, EMMA was the one that proposed to him that Police Are Useless and he should use the one certain person who was available at the time to change their heart instead, all the while without letting him know that said viable candidate she's about to manipulate is a middle school student. This didn't end well for the Phantom Thieves and Zenkichi and actually placed Konoe directly into Zenkichi and the police's line of fire.

The Lock Keepers

    Lock Keepers in general 
Located in hidden areas in the Monarch's city, in areas called Trauma Cells, a powerful Shadow and the Anthropomorphic Personification of the Jail Monarch's Dark Secret, which protects the lock on the Monarch's main tower.
  • Achilles' Heel: All of the Lock Keepers are weak to Bless and Curse skills. They also have the same other weaknesses as the Monarch they are attached to, such as Alice's being weak to Fire and Wind skills.
  • Anthropomorphic Personification: Of the Jail Monarch's emotional scar and Dark Secret that caused them to turn to EMMA for "salvation".
  • Asshole Victim: The people the Lock Keepers represent have been taken care of off-screen by the Monarchs using their powers to destroy their lives. The Alpha Bitch who came back to humiliate Alice lost her boyfriend and her reputation was destroyed, the Jerkass publishers get ruined when Ango repents, the politician who blackmailed Mariko into stepping down is forced to step down himself and the greedy and corrupt civil worker who was really responsible for the little girl's death is dragged down with him, and Akira's father tries to murder his son only to be killed by him in self-defense.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: In a way. They are the source of the Jail Monarch's trauma, but are never faced directly. Instead, you face monsters the Keepers represent.
  • Hate Sink: All of the people they represent are real pieces of work, but special mention goes to Akira's father, who manages to easily rival Kamoshida and Shido in pure monstrosity, and establishes himself as one of the vilest and most disgusting characters in the entire franchise. The Phantom Thieves are rightfully furious after confronting them, and further strengthens their resolve to stop the Jail Monarch from becoming worse than them.
  • Mini-Boss: A powerful one at that. These monsters need to be beaten to send the calling card and face the Jail Monarch.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Each one faced will have four of the same weapon.

    Lock Keeper of Shibuya 
A Lock Keeper taking the form of the girl who, with her fellow Alpha Bitches ruined Alice's life at Shujin so hard that not only does Alice become a Monarch, but she on a more mundane level has the fact she ever attended Shujin wiped off the records.
  • Slut-Shaming: How she traumatized her and ruined her attempts at rebuilding her life.
  • Teens Are Monsters: Given as Shujin is a high school, certainly fits.

    Lock Keeper of Sendai 
A Lock Keeper taking the form of Ango Natsume's editor, who knows full well Ango is a cheapskate, but like Ango is using the kid's grandfather (who was a good author) to fleece the public for money.
  • Only in It for the Money: The editor reveals that the only reasons he helped Ango win was to use him as a source of income by riding on his grandfather's name.

    Lock Keeper of Sapporo 
A Lock Keeper taking the form of a corrupt senator who blamed a tragic ice sculpture accident (in truth caused by sub-par construction job he was bribed into accepting) that killed a child onto Mariko. This drove her to use EMMA to make sure the accident would never repeat.
  • Passive-Aggressive Kombat: He, a civil worker with a passive voice, is also a greedy asshole who was willing to cut corners, shows no guilt over getting a little girl killed, and then threatens to take Hyodo down with him by making it seem like she's responsible.
  • Taking You with Me: Hyodo's Lock Keeper threatens her with this trope, saying he'll make it seem like the embezzlement and collapse was her fault due to paperwork she's signed.

     Lock Keeper of Okinawa 
A Lock Keeper summoned by EMMA to confront the Thieves, as the Okinawa Monarch is dead.
  • All Your Powers Combined: The Okinawa Lock Keeper can use the weapons of the previous three Lock Keepers.
  • Flat Character: Unlike the other Lock Keepers, this Keeper isn't based on an existing person and thus displays no characterization of its own.
  • The Runt at the End: As the Okinawa monarch is dead, EMMA just summons a generic keeper instead, to the point where it has no dialogue.
  • The Speechless: Given as it's just a robot, rather than a more standard Lock Keeper, it doesn't say a word.

     Lock Keeper of Osaka 
A Lock Keeper taking the form of Konoe's father, who was an Abusive Parent to Konoe, murdered his own wife, and was eventually killed in self-defense, pinned by Akira as a burglary gone wrong.
  • Abusive Parents: Akira's father physically abused him and even contemplated murdering him.
  • Killing in Self-Defense: Akira Konoe murdered him yes, but his father would have done it to him first, and had killed Akira's mother.
  • No-Respect Guy: Akira's Lock Keeper, who is based on his abusive father, seems to not be at all "respected", and is willing to flat out kill those who he perceives as slighting him, like Akira's mom.
    Lock Keeper: It's like I'm some joke to people... You want to die? Trust me, I'l be glad to get rid of you!
  • Pater Familicide: Killed his wife over some money and tried to kill his son as well, only for it to end up being the other way around.

Other Targets

    The True Culprit (Unmarked Spoilers) 

Kuon Ichinose

Voiced by: Yōko Hikasa (Japanese), Kira Buckland (English)
The Instigator
"Someone's handing you the best possible solution-all you have to do is take it and you'll never have a problem again. This isn't about mind control, this is about implementing the best solution for humanity. It just so happens that the most efficient route to the best solution is changing everyone's heart."

Sin: Invidia (Envy)

A mysterious woman who meets the Thieves in a beef barbeque restaurant. She is a researcher working for a university and the creator of both Sophia and EMMA. It is said she shut off her emotions to unknown circumstances and never shed a tear even if her parents, the only people who understood her behavior, died. Due to her relatively abnormal behavior (not responding to other people in general, closing herself in her laboratory even when it's supposed to be closed etc.), other people treated her as if she was some sort of emotionless doll and even she thought that she wasn't human.

  • Affably Evil: She's this and Faux Affably Evil. Her warm and peppy personality is an act, but her amicability and helpfulness are entirely genuine; she just acts warmer than she naturally is because she wants to fit in and not disturb people, and her creation of EMMA was made in the genuine belief she was helping people.
  • Anti-Villain: At her core, Ichinose is a deeply lonely woman who has been embittered and isolated from society for so long she's lost sight of what even she wants, but hasn't actually grown to blame humanity for her situation; everything she does is based in the desire to help others, but her inability to read people empathetically means she doesn't understand she's making things worse.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Questioning her supposed inability to feel emotions and her inability to connect to people, or criticizing EMMA's plans, is the one thing that is guaranteed to get an emotional reaction from her - specifically, anger.
    • She also doesn't like to interact with Sophia either. Given that she was made to help Ichinose understand the heart, only for Sophia to start pestering her for answers to those questions, it makes sense. While her response to Sophia isn't as unhinged as she does back in her own lab or in the Metaverse, when the party meets her before leaving Sendai and they introduce her to Sophia, she drops off whatever mannerisms she was faking and starts acting lukewarm towards her. She gets over it near the end of the game, however.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: With Konoe and EMMA. However, unlike any other human antagonist up to this point, she's actually the person who kickstarted the whole Metaverse-based catastrophe when she created EMMA's base code and sold it to Konoe. She's also fully on board with Konoe's (ethically) dubious dealings with the Metaverse EMMA created. She gets Demoted to Dragon once EMMA starts to gain more and more power.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Zig-Zagged. Despite being a twist villain who acts as the game's equivalent to Adachi and Akechi, her altruism is genuine, but due to her inability to connect to people, extremely misguided until her defeat. She even admits that she knew something is wrong when she saw the people she "saved" with EMMA looked dead. She quickly goes back to being an ally after being confronted and retains her friendliness at the end of the game.
  • Broken Ace: She's a genius programmer (who's skilled at it enough that Futaba was only able to get past her defensive hacking because Ichinose got distracted by Sophia's Awakening) and a well-versed cognitive psientist, to the point that she was able to create artificial intelligence all by herself, but she's also an emotionally dead wreck with No Social Skills who has no faith in her ability to connect with people or even make decisions for them, hence why she follows EMMA's lead once EMMA develops the ability to set her own priorities and goals.
  • But Now I Must Go: After the defeat of Demiurge, she decides to leave with her creation Sophia to parts unknown at the end of the game to understand the human heart.
  • Call-Back: Her creation of Sophia and EMMA to see which AI could understand the human heart better is akin to Yaldabaoth's "game" to put Humanity on Trial using Joker and Akechi as pawns. However, Yaldabaoth's "game" is deliberately rigged for the sake of his entertainment to make sure only he can take full control of the public. In the other hand, Ichinose was rooting for EMMA, but it was out of a fit of rage from Sophia triggering her personal insecurities, and even then EMMA was inferior from the get-go because she wasn't programmed as well as Sophia to fit the job, becoming The Corruptor instead of whatever Ichinose planned for her to do.
  • Character Tics: Humming the same tune Sophia does. Given she made Sophia, it makes sense.
  • Create Your Own Hero: She turns out to be the one who created Sophia, who, in-turn, ends up being the one to stop EMMA from taking over humanity and inspire a Heel–Face Turn in Ichinose herself.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: She literally can't feel or express emotions properly ever since she was a child, and her parents were the only ones to try and help her through it and supported her. However, they abruptly died in unknown circumstances and her inability to properly express her grief combined with her decision to focus on her work, likely to distract herself from said grief, served to creep out her relatives and prompted them to call her "a heartless doll". Ever since then, she's been isolated from others, with people talking behind her back due to how emotionless she came off as and her reluctance to interact with others due to her childhood trauma. In a desperate attempt to understand the heart so she could grow from being a "heartless being", she decided to create an AI whose purpose to understand the heart, but she instead created Sophie, who instead asked her what a heart is under the reasoning that she had one, unintentionally pressing her Trauma Button over her condition and causing her to think everything she did was All for Nothing. This led to her Jumping Off the Slippery Slope and accepting that she was heartless, deciding to instead research how to make hearts unnecessary by unleashing a full blown supernatural catastrophe in a desperate attempt to ease her loneliness by making so she wasn't the only "heartless one".
  • The Dragon: She's this to EMMA's Metaverse at the game's final act, putting herself as the penultimate obstacle of the Phantom Thieves.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: She's loyal to the EMMA application's goals on her own will and isn't controlled; in fact, she actually has full rights over that part of the Metaverse and has full control over its denizens.
  • Emotionless Girl: Played with. It's stated that she's acting out emotions and she has little-to-no actual ability to emote. About the deepest emotion she normally feels is lashing out whenever someone tells her she needs to understand the human heart in order to judge people - so much so that feeling genuine remorse for the first time is actually something she's overjoyed about, because she doesn't feel so emotionally dead. In reality, however, aside from her difficulty expressing emotions the way others do, she seems to have subconsciously repressed them.
  • Empty Shell: According to her, at least. Her sense of self is there, but she's so detached from it - whether she knows it or not - that she scrapes the surface of being this. It's bad enough that she doesn't seem to have a Persona, or even a Shadow. The moment anyone makes her feel uncertain about her path, however, or the moment Sophia shows up...
  • Everyone Has Standards: Kuon Ichinose, a woman who describes herself as an emotionless doll, was able to look at the eyes of the people her app "saved" and determine that they seemed cold enough as to be effectively dead. This in fact was the final catalyst of her Heel–Face Turn, causing her to realize that she was wrong about the heart as it relates to both humanity and herself.
  • Evil Matriarch: In a sense. She's the one who created Sophie and is ultimately the one responsible for EMMA's attempt to sap emotions from humanity. She even goes so far as to try and kill the Phantom Thieves herself, motivated further by jealousy and anger. That being said, Sophie eventually gets her to turn over a new leaf.
  • Face of an Angel, Mind of a Demon: She's a beautiful, harmless-looking woman, but she's actually an emotionally detached person who's the true mastermind behind EMMA and the in-game catastrophe surrounding it.
    • Somewhat downplayed by the fact that she does want to help people, but because of her inability to understand emotions and humanity, she ends up harming people instead.
  • Fatal Flaw: An interesting case, where she's aware she has one, but completely misjudged what it is.
    • She thinks it's lack of emotion, which is the reason why she even kickstarted the whole thing in the first place, from Sophia to EMMA.
    • In reality, it's self-loathing. At her core, Ichinose believes she's an emotionally dead, soulless doll who can't connect or empathize with the world around her at all, and lost faith in her hope of one day understanding it when Sophia was just as clueless to what a heart was as she is, instead deciding to reject it being needed at all. Because of that, she ignores her needs and wants, preventing her from realizing that deep down, she's just lonely and digs herself into a deeper and deeper hole to fill the void in her life rather than confront her issues.
  • The Fake Cutie: While not exactly acting in the intent of cuteness per sec but more like acting as if she didn't shut off her emotions, her mannerisms pre-reveal are extremely cutesy-ish and Adorkable, but she almost looks as if she was trying too hard that it becomes uncomfortable to watch at best and disturbing at worst. It's Deconstructed however since she's in no means, a bad person, but she's obfuscating emotional warmth to make her easier to interact with.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Downplayed. Her peppy and loud disposition as well as her friendly personality is just an act. She truly believes that she has no emotions and can't understand them. Said peppiness isn't actually meant to manipulate people, though, as much as it is an attempt to fit in at all, and her desire to help people is genuine like Maruki, although it only resulted in an abomination because her creation cannot actually assess emotions. Therefore, it couldn't see anything across the screen and only considered people asking it for advice, so it just resorted to the most pragmatic answer possible; humanity's greatest desire is when she thinks for them. However, any time EMMA's plan or her true beliefs gets questioned, and especially as Sophia rapidly develops before her eyes, she quickly gets upset.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The first thing that comes into mind is that her behavior and verbal tics before The Reveal is extremely questionable at best; she just seems too friendly and peppy to be actually genuine.
    • After Ango and Alice talked about someone monitoring the Jails, the party goes to a speech by Akira Konoe, then Ichinose comes in because she can hear Ryuji talking about the Phantom Thieves, leading her to suspect that they are, since she also monitors the Jails to observe EMMA's evolution. She wasn't specifically looking for the Phantom Thieves, but she does recognize the Phantom Thieves despite they were masked.
    • Furthermore, she knows Konoe personally and she's actually the one to invite him to talk in her university; she even knows the Keyword of Konoe's Jail. It's obvious since she's using him as an accomplice to achieve EMMA's goals of determining the answer to humanity's happiness.
    • Ichinose seems be one of those characters who does close to nothing prior to The Reveal while clearly being represented as a major character. You do not personally meet her after leaving Sendai and before The Reveal, to a degree that even after supposedly apprehending the real culprit (Konoe) and everyone was preparing to go back home after an action-packed field trip, she's nowhere to be seen and the party still knows almost nothing about her.
    • Here's a rather subtle point. During an early conversation between the Phantom Thieves about stopping Alice, Sophia blatantly advises killing Alice's Shadow. When Ichinose was defeated in the Jail of the Abyss, she asks the Phantom Thieves to kill her out of guilt, indicating that is her mindset incorporated within Sophia, despite being a failed prototype of EMMA.
      • Another foreshadowing of Ichinose's true nature on a similar tangent is that when Konoe was urged by EMMA to turn someone close to the Phantom Thieves into a Monarch to use their Jail as bait to capture the Thieves, the app never once told him anything about the person in question, leading him to unknowingly brainwash Akane, who is very clearly underage and doesn't have a clue how a Jail actually works. After Ichinose briefly took control of Sophia and she drops off a cliff due to a combination of battle fatigue and Fighting from the Inside to defy Ichinose's orders, Yusuke literally calls her "You Monster!" in her face. Her response to this is that she doesn't feel bad about manipulating Sophia because she had no empathy. The idea to manipulate Akane because she was the only one issuing a request for EMMA to save her most likely came from this mindset.
    • Probably one of the biggest (and most subtle) dead giveaways is just the fact that she breaks character for a second the first time the Phantom Thieves show her Sophia. You'd think such an apparently peppy, friendly, gung-ho AI researcher would be very interested in the very emotive and mysterious AI that's been aiding the Phantom Thieves, but her voice drops an octave and she says Sophia's name in a very lukewarm fashion before bouncing back to her normal act whilst completely ignoring her. The Phantom Thieves don't really sniff out any abnormalities and it's rather subtle, but it sticks out.
    • The biggest giveaway however, is that she has a character portrait and a cut-in for a character that does close to nothing for most of the story, something that is (usually) only reserved for very important characters.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: A mentally disturbed woman who was ostracized by society for being "a doll" manages to create a God of Control out of nowhere just because her previous creation triggered her personal Berserk Button.
  • Genki Girl: Subverted. She speaks in a fast and hyperactive way when she's putting up an act. Even moments before she lets the mask drop, she's enthusiastic and energetic for a while until she starts speaking in her normal, cool and bitter tone.
  • Go Mad from the Isolation: The constant ostracizing and inability to connect with anyone around her eventually caused her to become a self-loathing misanthrope who hates the fact other people have a heart and she feels she doesn't.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: Perhaps the most surprising twist of events in the game. After Sophia awakens Pandora, she manages to convince Ichinose to help the Phantom Thieves' cause to stop EMMA's rampage, and she ends up playing a big part in putting a stop to it.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Played with. She is the creator of the EMMA AI, and created her and Sophia to understand human desires, effectively placing her in this position. After EMMA becomes fully sentient and starts warping reality, however, she is willingly Demoted to Dragon, seeing her creation as a much better ruler than herself, before pulling a Heel–Face Turn after Sophie gets her to realize her mistakes.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Her sin and motif is envy, because her inability to feel emotions nearly all the time left her with a desire to be capable of doing so but no idea how to do it. However, she's denying that understanding human hearts requires understanding emotions itself, and snaps when Sophia's case proves otherwise, because she's afraid that means she can never truly connect with people. This caused her to outright create a misguided abomination who discards humanity's thought in return for it thinking for them.
  • Heel–Face Turn: While initially loyal to the Demiurge's goals, once she is defeated by Sophia's Pandora, she understands the importance of a heart and officially assists the Phantom Thieves as an ally. She even tries to turn herself in after everything is said and done, only to fail because there is no evidence to link her to the Change of Heart crimes.
  • Heel Realization: She is actually the creator of EMMA, with Sophia being the prototype; once being convinced by Sophia, she realizes that EMMA has gone out of control and assists the party against the rogue AI turned False God Demiurge. At the ending, she even admits that she already saw things Gone Horribly Wrong when everyone she "saved" looked almost dead. Consider that these people's appearance was an eye-opener by Ichinose standards, that paints a picture of a clear and present deep-six to the soul that anyone could see, as well as proves once and for all that she herself is a truly living person as opposed to the "doll" she perceived herself as.
  • Hidden Depths: An interesting case that Ichinose seems to be unaware of them herself; for all of her belief in her own inhumanity, she's motivated almost entirely by compassion and a desire to do good, and has some outright childish attitudes, given how easy it is to provoke her.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: At her core, Ichinose is a deeply lonely woman who hates the fact she can't connect or easily empathize with other people at all, and in fact, her core motive for making Sophia was to create a machine that could tell her how to feel things normally as well as her Only Friend.
  • Karma Houdini: She actually attempts to defy this. After EMMA's defeat, she tries to turn herself into the police for her actions, but is let out because of how far-fetched her confession sounded, despite the creator of EMMA being the first person that the police should be looking for about the Japan-wide Change of Heart incidents. Thus, the trope ends up technically being played straight in the end, though not due to any moral failing or lack of responsibility on her part.
  • Lack of Empathy: Played with. She lacks personal empathy, which means she has no idea how to emote or instinctively connect with people, and can be incredibly ruthless. As far as social empathy, she has in abundance - if she didn't, it's probable she wouldn't have programmed EMMA in the first place.
    • That same lack of personal empathy combined with her desire to genuinely do good for the world can make it more nightmarish than if she just didn't give a rip, though: She was fully on board with Konoe developing a Jail system with EMMA to unleash mass Mind Rape, in the belief that would result in a better world. The system was already there when she programmed EMMA, Konoe and Ubukata just made it come to life.
  • Large Ham: She screams most of her lines out loud. Justified, in that she's literally acting most of them out; her real personality is a lot more subdued and calm.
  • Last-Name Basis: Everyone, including Sophia, the AI created, calls her by her surname of Ichinose.
  • Like Mother, Like Daughter: There's one interval where Sophia blatantly suggests killing Alice's Shadow to induce a mental shutdown, and the idea to manipulate Akane, a child's Shadow to capture the Phantom Thieves is presented by EMMA to Konoe. Since Ichinose created both of these applications, these might be manifestations of her mindset integrated into her creations.
  • Loners Are Freaks: Deconstructed. She is an extreme introvert, but in truth, she desperately wants to connect with people around her, and being treated as an aberrant freak eventually caused her to decide that everyone was right.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: After reaching her the first time will in the Jail of the Abyss, Ichinose reveals that she created Sophia in order to find a heart, only to trash her immediately when Sophia asked questions she couldn't answer. She proves this by issuing a command code that has Sophia turn on the Thieves. In fact, Sophia's humming originated from her as well.
  • Measuring the Marigolds: Deconstructed and played for tragedy. She made a computer program to help her explain what a heart is because she doesn't think she has one herself, and wanted to know what was wrong with her. When Sophia proved to be just as clueless about a heart was, she snapped and decided it didn't matter, the problem was with the world.
  • The Mentally Disturbed: It's pretty clear that Ichinose isn't mentally well, and the fact that she describes herself as an "emotionless doll" instead of a human (though it's almost certain she is human) is a fairly good indicator that she's not on her best mind. She isn't bothered by this mindset in and of itself, but she is sincerely upset about how isolated this makes her.
  • Meta Twist: That the Cloudcuckoolander following you around who reveals absolutely nothing about her past turns out to be a major antagonist is not really surprising to anyone who remembers Adachi or Akechi. That she is genuinely helpful and nice, and that she has a Heel–Face Turn shortly after The Reveal is more of a shock.
  • Motor Mouth: Invoked. When putting on her emotional mask, she speaks extremely quickly to shove as much information in her lines as possible. After she stops acting, she's a lot more measured in how many words-per-minute she belts out.
  • Mythology Gag: The fact that she acts as a friend and informant for the main party only to turn on them during the penultimate confrontation and managed to be convinced to join them for real in the future is shared with Adachi from Persona 4 and Akechi from Persona 5 Royal. Perhaps coincidentally, all three of these also happen to have "Chi" in their surname.
  • No Indoor Voice: She's extremely loud and peppy when conversing with the Phantom Thieves. Subverted once her true nature is exposed however, in which she speaks in a normal tone.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: Kuon is The Man Behind the Man and attempts to stop the Phantom Thieves herself, but she doesn't actually have a Persona, which means her boss fight is just her drowning the party in Shadows while she stays behind a barrier and charges up the Wave-Motion Gun EMMA lent to her.
  • Orphan's Ordeal: Heavily implied. She states that her parents were the only people who understood her unique mindset, and losing them destroyed pretty much the only emotional support she had, beginning the social isolation that turned her into the self-loathing misanthrope she is today.
  • Please Kill Me If It Satisfies You: Once she's finally defeated for good with Sophia awakening Pandora, she asks Sophie to kill her out of guilt, claiming that she'd be an obstacle if they didn't. Based on how Sophia asked at the start of the game that if the Phantom Thieves can kill Alice's Shadow if they can't steal her treasure to make her atone, this response might be her real mindset (that it'd be easier and more convenient to kill people rather than try to redeem them).
  • Red Herring: Based on how she basically revealed that she's the instigator of this Metaverse-related incident right near the end of the game's second arc, you may think that she's the final boss with a Persona. She isn't, and she doesn't actually have a Persona.
  • Reluctant Psycho: The dominant emotion she seems to feel is self-loathing, because of her inability to connect with people. Part of her motive for discarding Sophia in place of EMMA is because she has no faith in her own ability to empathize with people, and this consistently upsets her no matter how emotionless she thinks she is.
  • Secretly Selfish: Before fighting the last Shadow she summons, Morgana tells her that she wasn't creating EMMA for the sake of some benefit for humanity but is running away from her deep-seated psychological issues.
  • Self-Deprecation: See Reluctant Psycho above. She's fully aware of how emotionless she is and her lack of skill in connecting to people, and admits flat-out she views herself as a "doll".
  • Shadow Archetype:
    • She's one to Maruki. While both are friendly geniuses who are trying to research the human heart and act as the main instigator of reality distorting events with similar mechanics, Maruki is incredibly warm and sympathetic to other people, and is genuinely caring for the well being of others, even when he gets distorted. Ichinose, in the other hand is just cold and nearly robotic, even going as far as deliberately creating an AI god that can potentially enslave humanity into what it (and she) perceives as eternal happiness.
    • She's also one to Sophia. Both have trouble understanding human emotions, want to learn what a heart really means, and desire to help humanity grow. However while Sophia had the Phantom Thieves guide her throughout her journey and teach her what a heart is, Kuon suffered loneliness throughout her whole life with no one bothering to teach her, thus Kuon eventually decides that understanding a human heart is not necessary for humanity's growth.
  • Slasher Smile: Sports a rather nasty one when she tries to blast the Phantom Thieves off the Abyss Jail's cliff. Be noted that she does this straight out from her 3D model.
  • The Sociopath: Played with. Ichinose initially believes herself to be this and comes across as such too, putting on a perky facade to hide her "true" personality and admitting that she doesn't have a heart. However, a bonding moment with Sophia and a Heel–Face Turn prove that she was in fact just lonely all along and desperately needing friends and family.
  • Soft-Spoken Sadist: Once her 'true' personality goes exposed, she drops off her Large Ham tendencies and starts speaking in a eerily soft tone while maintaining most of her verbal tics as before. Upon her Heel–Face Turn, this gets dropped.
  • Stepford Smiler: Her peppy disposition is an attempt to cover for how she doesn't know how to emote or connect with people at all.
  • Superior Successor: Of Goro Akechi in terms of being pretending to ally with the Phantom Thieves only to betray them. However Ichinose was much better in hiding her true nature than Akechi allowing her to manipulate the Phantom Thieves without being suspected until she reveal herself in the end, while the Phantom Thieves were able to see right through Akechi's facade and turn his manipulations against him. Also, Ichinose was able to help the Phantom Thieves defeat EMMA, while Akechi's plans to humiliate Shido was doomed from the beginning.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute:
    • The first conversation she had with the Thieves involves over emphasizing about food nutrition and overly causal banter, and she even gives the Thieves a candy before she leaves; This is the exact way that Takuto Maruki from Royal interacts with the Phantom Thieves during his consultant sessions. Furthermore, both of them share an equally misguided but noble goal.'
    • As far as her role in this whole incident goes, Ichinose is similar to Tohru Adachi. Both were true culprits who initially present themselves as bumbling, jovial personalities until their cover blows away and hid themselves behind a bunch of Red Herring culprits, and their role in the story prior to The Reveal is largely relegated to reminding the audience that they exist. Pretty much the only difference is that Ichinose was at least partially in control of EMMA while Adachi is controlled by the deities of the Midnight Channel.
  • Techno Wizard: She's an exponentially better programmer and hacker than Futaba, creating Sophia, an artificial being capable of developing her own ego and thus her own heart and Persona, through nothing but computer code. Her next creation, EMMA, is able to become a new God of Control on par with Yaldabaoth.
  • They Look Just Like Everyone Else!: Unlike any other targets in this game that obviously stand out like a sore thumb when the Phantom Thieves first meet them, Ichinose doesn't look any different from any other person on the streets. Despite this, she's actually the true culprit of the game's incidents (or at least, the person who kick-started it).
  • Tin Man: In spite of what many people around her and what Ichinose herself believes, she actually can feel some emotions deeply, albeit very rarely. The main ones she shows are anger (when Sophia asks her what a heart is) and remorse (when she realizes that Sophia actually does have a mind and soul beyond her programming and she forced her to betray her friends).
  • Treacherous Quest Giver: Played with. She sometimes hands out sidequests to the Phantom Thieves before The Reveal. After it, she has a Heel–Face Turn and still hands them out when you encounter her in the overworld.
  • Tarot Motifs: Reversed Hope. Hope symbolized optimism and positivity. Ichinose created EMMA as a solution to grant people a false hope to ease the pain after giving up on herself.
  • The Unfought: She doesn't fight you herself. Instead, she just controls Sophia to attack you, then sends out a massive mob attack before summoning a Hecatoncheir.
  • Übermensch: She genuinely wants to help people, but her moral code not only discounts emotions, but views even attempts to understand them as suspect. This resulted in her trying to grant desires in a similar vein as Maruki before, only to end up with something that takes desires because it cannot process emotions, and thus believes that "the best desire is no desire". Deconstructed, however, in that Sophia realizes she was lying to herself about how pained she felt being isolated from the world, and created a justification for herself to stop trying - she's really far more of a Last Man, aping actual morality while having no real views of her own.
  • Uncanny Valley Girl: She looks like a normal, attractive enough woman at first glance, but her overly peppy and enthusiastic behavior comes across as unnatural and at times even unnerving to the Phantom Thieves. The fact that she's indeed faking it only adds to the creepiness.
  • Villainous BSoD: When Sophia manages to overwrite her own programming, proving she has emotions independent of what she was programmed with and that she actually does have a heart, Ichinose completely loses even her composure, initially going into a berserk denial that what she's seeing is proof that she threw away and brainwashed someone who is effectively her daughter, and when Sophia gives her a "The Reason You Suck" Speech in which she expresses pity for what Ichinose is and how she got that way, she has a My God, What Have I Done? moment and starts crying profusely, something she didn't even do when her own parents died.
  • Walking Spoiler: It's impossible to talk about Ichinose without mentioning that she is the root behind the events of the game and the creator of the EMMA app.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Implied. When Yusuke flat out calls her "You Monster!" after she forcefully brainwashes Sophia to attack the Thieves to no avail, her response was that she never felt bad about doing such a thing. If Futaba's comments about AIs and their creators were taken as granted, then EMMA getting Akane Mind Raped and turned into Konoe's sentinel because she was the only Monarch candidate available was clearly based on her mindset, implying that she didn't have any issues using children to threaten others if she thought it was needed.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: A sign of her 'emotionlessness' is how she sees this as a default and sensible behavior. She attempts this on the Phantom Thieves after resetting and reprogramming Sophia and ordering her to kill them. When defeated herself, she encourages the Phantom Thieves to do so to her to keep her from interfering again, something that is actually heavily implied to be her mindset (as seen when Sophia advises the Phantom Thieves to kill Alice at the start of the game instead of trying to change her heart).
  • Zerg Rush: She attempts this on you during the second time you fight her. After Sophia awakens, the last enemy she sends out is a Hecatoncheir.

Minor Enemies

    Shadow Guards 
The first form of the minions of the Jail Monarchs. Taking the form of black shadows wearing security uniforms, they steal the wishes of other people's shadows by order of the local Jail Monarch. If their mask is taken though, they'll become demons.
  • Actually Four Mooks: Exaggerated. If their mask is stolen, they turn into armies of demons.
  • Humanoid Abomination: The Guards are in black, but lack feet, have white masks, and can turn the wishes of a person's Shadow into a diamond, which they then steal to brainwash the masses.
  • Mechanical Abomination: Other versions include a security drone with a mask and arms, robot-dogs, and a walker with missiles thats bloated with Shadows and masks.

Other Characters

    Miyako Kaburagi 

Miyako Kaburagi

Voiced by: Kazue Ikura (Japanese), Mara Junot (English)
Madame Kaburagi of the Public Security Office

An officer in the KPP's PSD and Zenkichi's boss. She's a strict and capable officer.

  • Best Served Cold: She justifies arresting the Phantom Thieves on obviously false charges to Zenkichi by telling him that they must endure whatever they have to if they want the eventual opportunity to strike back at Jyun Owada and the Board of Directors.
  • Big Damn Heroes: It happens entirely off-screen, but Zenkichi realizes that Miyako was likely the one who leaked the inside information Sae Niijima needed to get the police to release Zenkichi from custody and call off their manhunt of the Phantom Thieves.
  • By-the-Book Cop: She's a strict law enforcer and simply goes by the rationale of the law, hence nearly resulting in the Phantom Thieves' arrest. It's the Japanese version of her statement to the public in the epilogue that gives Shido's conspiracy an official name of sort, announcing that in addition to Owada's arrest, other congress members were being investigated alongside as suspected partners in an "Antisocial Force" (lit. "Hanshakai Teki Soshiki")—the Japanese government term for any organized crime syndicates with political backing and/or revolutionary aims capable of causing violent civil unrest.
  • Heel–Face Turn: She at first plans on arresting the Phantom Thieves and is determined to do so, but after the Kyoto incident with Akane, she gets over it and assists them instead.
  • Iron Lady: She's a cold, no-nonsense woman who leads one of the high-ranking branches of the Japanese police force. Kaburagi does have a softer side, as shown with some of the interactions between her and Zenkichi, but those moments are rare.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Miyako is implied to have been this to Zenkichi in the past, owing to his seemingly Undying Loyalty to her. After Owada killed Zenkichi's wife in a drunken vehicular manslaughter and then, on top of that, was implied to have threatened Zenkichi's daughter, Akane, with a mental shutdown if Zenkichi didn't give up trying to pin the crime on him, Zenkichi almost completely lost himself to grief. The only person who was able to pick him back and keep him on track was his supervisor, Miyako.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: A subdued example; after she reluctantly agrees to arrest the Phantom Thieves once Jyun Owada imposes the issue on her and offers to promote her, she bemoans that she's just a coward who acts when told and silently regrets that she's betraying Zenkichi.
  • Pet the Dog: Though she's introduced as something of a hardass, Kaburagi is also the very first person to tell Zenkichi to go back home and see his daughter every once in a while. Then there's the fact that her support kept Zenkichi from completely breaking down after the death of his wife Aoi, explaining his trust in her and their rather chummy (if not banter-prone) relationship even before Kaburagi reexamines her actions.
  • Prim and Proper Bun: Wears her hair this way, which visually complements her Iron Lady credentials.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Although she has "place the blame on the Phantom Thieves for the national Change of Heart epidemic" as Plan B, Kaburagi still allows Zenkichi to go through with his investigation, which involves working with said Phantom Thieves to unravel the mystery. After the Okinawa incident, she additionally advises him to not trust anyone, even his allies, suggesting she might have caught wind of Owada's meddling within the already corrupt police force and saw fit to tip off Zenkichi about it. Finally, when Zenkichi comes to her directly asking for help with arresting Owada, Kaburagi gives him three days to seal the deal and reinstates Zenkichi by returning his badge, but not without warning him she'll have to prioritize her own safety should he fail. She then tells one of her subordinates, who was listening in on their conversation, to leave Zenkichi alone and instead focus on digging up dirt on the Commissioner General, whose heart was changed on Owada's orders.
  • Red Herring: One might suspect that she's actually an enemy for going against the Phantom Thieves as suspect for the mysterious Change of Heart cases. After Zenkichi uses himself as a decoy in place for their arrest and Sae sets him free however, she agrees to cooperate and even turns against Konoe and Owada, who ordered the arrest of the Thieves.
  • The Scapegoat: If the police cannot find the true culprit for the Change of Heart epidemic, Kaburagi plans to put all blame on the Phantom Thieves as they are the only people with the power to do so and most of the victims fit their modus operandi.
  • Secretly Selfish: She is a dutiful and responsible law enforcer who genuinely wishes to apprehend the Phantom Thieves as threats to public safety. Like most of the police force, Kaburagi privately hates the Thieves for humiliating the Japanese law enforcement sector in the public's eyes, giving her a more personal reason to take the Thieves down. As a result, Kaburagi is somewhat blinded by personal bias, refusing to empathize with Zenkichi until her Heel–Face Turn when the Thieves overthrow Akane as Monarch of the Kyoto Jail.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Kaburagi isn't evil and she shares Zenkichi's desire to change the corrupt system she is part of. To do so, she's willing to do whatever it takes to ensure she can advance in her position to eventually weed out the corruption around her, even going so far as to knowingly go against the law to try and arrest the Phantom Thieves if it means she can obtain a promotion.

    Jyun Owada (Unmarked Spoilers) 

Jyun Owada

Voiced by: Ikuya Sawaki (Japanese), Andrew Morgado (English)

A former crony of Shido trying to take power for himself, and the only villain in the game without a Freudian Excuse for his wickedness. He's corrupt, incompetent and easily manipulated.

  • Big Bad Wannabe:
    • As one of Shido's cronies, he tries so hard to claim the power that his former boss had. Owada thinks he is in a Big Bad Duumvirate with Akira Konoe and will be using EMMA and the Metaverse for his personal advancement to Prime Minister. In reality, he's nothing more than an Unwitting Pawn to Konoe, the latter planning to betray him once he had served his purpose.
    • This is especially notable after Konoe's change of heart. After Konoe's public confession, Owada attempts to do damage control to remove any links back to himself. But then it becomes apparent that other officials were only collaborating with Owada because Konoe had stolen their desires.
  • Complexity Addiction: Being a former Conspirator for Shido, Owada inherits his habit of relying on subterfuge to keep his involvement out of the public's eyes. This is why his engineered manhunt for the Phantom Thieves gets prematurely halted; the cops can neither officially link the Phantom Thieves to the murder he wanted to pin on them nor did he actually go through the process to get a Judge's seal to make their arrest official.
  • Contrived Coincidence: How does the man who accidentally killed a police inspector's wife a year prior to Persona 5 end up getting sponsored and targeted by the CEO of the biggest tech company at the time, with said CEO now trying to use the officer's daughter to catch a band of Metaverse-abusing teenagers under his supervision?
  • Corrupt Politician: To the very bone, as he would accept any offer to set him into power and even bribed Kaburagi to go against the Phantom Thieves herself.
  • Drunk Driver: How he killed Akane's mother two years prior to the events of Strikers.
  • Evil Old Folks: He's old, nasty, and corrupt and refused to bear any responsibility for having killed Akane's mother in a hit-and-run attack while drunk.
  • Flat Character: He has no reason to exist other than to act as the sole truly corrupt personality in the game and a decoy for the player.
  • Harmless Villain: At least in the present, anyway. Despite having a role in previous events, the other antagonists could simply have him arrested whenever they wanted to. The one time he tried to do something: frame the Phantom Thieves for murder, it also falls completely flat the second an actual defense attorney looked into it.
  • Hate Sink: Much like Shido before him, he's a corrupt politician who shows no qualms covering up crimes, pinning it on others, and threaten others just to save his own skin. Unlike Shido, he's unanimously hated by nearly everyone notable in the game and is promptly arrested at the end of it.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: After getting away with at least one count of manslaughter for two years, along with a long list of corrupt acts that he's committed, Owada is finally arrested at the end of Strikers.
  • Lack of Empathy: He accidentally ran over Akane's mother Aoi while drunk and covered it up by killing and then pinning the blame on a patsy (his secretary, to boot), and threatened Zenkichi with a death threat against Akane should he dare investigate any further. Based on how he worked for Shido, who was basically untouchable during that time, the threats definitely wouldn't be empty had Zenkichi chosen to continue.
  • Never My Fault: Two years prior to Strikers and a year prior to Persona 5, he ran over Akane's mother when he was drunk driving (which was already illegal on its own) and, to prevent himself from being investigated, blamed it on his secretary instead and had him commit suicide.
  • Red Herring: The game builds him up to be a major threat. He's actually just a tool and a decoy for Konoe to take over with the EMMA application and is promptly arrested at the end of the game.
  • The Remnant: Owada is among the remaining members of Shido's Antisocial Force who are still at large after the events of the vanilla game. Of course, that gets fixed when he's arrested at the end of Strikers.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Being one of Shido's supporters granted Owada a lot of power and that includes having a lot of members of the law enforcement in his pockets. In the present, however, this gets downplayed, since Shido's been arrested and the conspiracy uncovered, and eventually averted, as he finally gets arrested at the end of the game.
    • Two years prior to the event of Strikers, Owada killed Zenkichi's wife in a hit-and-run accident while drunk. Using his connections to Shido, Owada is able to get away with the murder by framing his secretary and threatening Akane.
    • As the Phantom Thieves gets closer to solving the Change of Hearts epidemic, Owada and the Commissioner-General bribe Commissioner Kaburagi with promotion and frame the Phantom Thieves for the murder of Shuzo Ubukata‎‎, even putting up a fake arrest warrant with no hard evidence for them. Downplayed when Sae gets the warrant thrown out because of said lack of hard evidence, among other oversights.
  • Smug Snake: He's an abysmally poor planner, and he's the only one not aware of it. His masterstroke to frame the Phantom Thieves gets destroyed utterly in an afternoon when he pisses off Kaburagi, the one person who could carry it out, and because he didn't actually go through the full arrest warrant process; the moment Sae takes a look at the warrant he pulled out of his ass, it withers.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute:
    • To Shido. Like his former boss, Owada is a highly corrupt politician who is able to evade the law because of his power and is willing to hurt or kill anyone in his way, even children. He also has a personal rivalry with one of the Phantom Thieves like his former boss (specifically, Zenkichi), but knows literally nothing about their identities.
    • He's also one to Mitsuo, as far as his standing in the whole scheme revolving EMMA is concerned. They're both Red Herring culprits designed to divert the player, and are both portrayed as unlikable and irredeemable Hate Sinks, having nothing to back themselves up other than their narcissism. They're also responsible for murder, although Owada was only confirmed to commit manslaughter while Mitsuo purposefully killed Morooka in a feeble attempt to shake Inaba.
  • The Unfought: The player never directly confronts him over the course of the game. He's conventionally arrested by the police in the epilogue.
  • Unknown Rival: He wants to build himself up as a major threat like his former boss, but in the end, he never crosses paths with the Thieves (besides Zenkichi) directly or indirectly, and they end up seeing him getting arrested on TV at the end of the game without any direct confrontation or targeting his Shadow.
  • Unwitting Pawn: While they're technically partners, Akira Konoe was planning to have him arrested (or brainwashed, or both) after he gained absolute power with the EMMA app.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: A corrupt Diet lawmaker who is known to be in Shido's faction. Owada is also the current Chief Cabinet Secretary.
  • Villainous Breakdown: He panics after Konoe's change of heart, and considers using him as a scapegoat, much like he'd done with his secretary. When he realizes that the commissioner general won't help him, he loses his composure.

Alternative Title(s): Persona 5 Scramble The Phantom Strikers